Real Madrid slumped to a second successive defeat on Sunday, losing 2-1 to an impressive Espanyol.
Real looked out of sorts in the first half, perhaps still reeling from their humiliating Champions League defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol in midweek.
They were almost punished early on when Luka Modric gave the ball away cheaply, only for Adrian Embarba to have his resulting effort saved. Soon after Espanyol did find the breakthrough.
Real’s defending for the goal was poor with Raul de Tomas darting to the front post to slide home Embarba’s dangerous low cross inside 20 minutes. The visitors offered little in response before the break, largely being restricted to set pieces and efforts from distance.
In the opening second-half exchanges Real enjoyed plenty of possession but chances remained at a premium. Shockingly. Espanyol would then double their lead on the hour mark thanks to a stunning solo effort from Aleix Vidal.
Not long after, Sergi Darder should have made it 3-0, missing a one-on-one after the home side had broken through following a Real corner. Karim Benzema thought he had pulled one back with just over 20 minutes to play, only for his excellent finish to be ruled out for offside.
The Frenchman did eventually get his goal though, beating several opposition players before lashing the ball home to set up a nervy finish. Substitute Eden Hazard put the ball in the back of the net at the death, but again Los Blancos were denied by the offside flag.
Here are your Real player ratings from the RCDE Stadium…
Thibaut Courtois (GK) – 5/10 – Made a few solid stops. Espanyol’s goals were tough to keep out, but he might he done better with the second.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) – 5/10 – Could have done more to prevent the opener. Recovered after that to put in a solid display.
Eder Militao (CB) – 4/10 – Really slow in snuffing out the danger for the first goal. Not good enough.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) – 3/10 – Not the most convincing display and nutmegged for the second goal. Bizarrely, he looked worse playing in his natural position than he has at full-back in recent weeks.
David Alaba (LB) – 6/10 – Moved to the role in which he made his name and Real used him a lot to create chances. Finished with four key passes but was not flawless defensively.
Federico Valverde (RM) – 6/10 – Never dips below a 6/10. Full of industry and did not shirk his defensive responsibilities. Deployed in three different positions.
Luka Modric (CM) – 4/10 – One of his worst performances in recent memory. Sloppy and uninspiring on the ball.
Toni Kroos (CM) – 5/10 – Back in the starting XI after injury and looked pretty rusty. Set piece delivery was sublime.
Eduardo Camavinga (LM) – 5/10 – Full of energy but was often headless. Hooked at the break.
Karim Benzema (ST) – 7/10 – Tried his best to make this happen for his side and scored a terrific goal. His teammates let him down today, in all honesty.
Vinicius Junior (ST) – 5/10 – Has been incredible recently but struggled to hit those heights today.
Rodrygo – 5/10 – A little quiet to be honest.
Casemiro – 5/10 – Real looked more coherent when he came on.
Luka Jovic – N/A – Another stinker. What is this guy good at?
Eden Hazard – 6/10 – Added a spark when he came on and had a strike disallowed.