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La Liga 2015, Real Madrid vs Espanyol: Match report

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ancelotti's men put their two-game skid to an end with a convincing win that was never in doubt. Ancelotti decided not to make any significant rotations on his squad other than resting Marcelo and Sergio Ramos, and it certainly paid off as the game itself wasn't very demanding.

Gareth Bale was the one player who was looking to redeem himself with a good performance after his mediocre start to this new 2015 year, and he succeeded. Real Madrid's two opening goals came off his boots. On the first one, the Welsh attacker sent a through-ball to Cristiano Ronaldo, who softly assisted James Rodríguez. While Ronaldo's assist was brilliant, that goal would have never happened without Bale's delivery. Shortly after that, Real Madrid's number 11 scored his third free-kick goal for Los Blancos, proving that he might as well be Real's best taker in those situations.

The game was calm and perfectly controlled by Real Madrid until Fernández Corbalán showed how bad referees are in the Spanish Liga BBVA. Coentrao and Cañas collided when they were fighting to regain possession. Both of them used the same kind of tackle and yet Coentrao was the one who got sent off. To make things worse, the referee booked Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese asked his fans to whistle louder. Atlético players -- and Simeone -- do not get that same treatment, that's for sure.

Ancelotti took James off to rebuild his team's defensive line, and moments after Benzema asked to leave the game with some problems on his leg, so the Italian coach gave Illarramendi some minutes. From then on, the match was over. Real Madrid were not interested in the offensive part of the game while Espanyol never had the firepower to overcome their two-goal deficit.

Cristiano Ronaldo tried to score all afternoon long, but his attempts did not come to fruition. He could have scored had Gareth Bale assisted him on the 70th minute, but the Welsh player decided to shoot and sent the ball wide. The Bernabéu then started to loudly whistle him even after Bale completed one of his finest performance of this ongoing season, and also after scoring a brilliant free-kick goal. Some fans then sang Bale's name, proving that the Bernabéu is divided between those who support the players and the ones who complain instead.

Nacho wrapped things up for Real with a goal through the right wing. The Spanish defender doesn't scory very often because of his size, so he was delighted even though the game was surely going to finish with a win for his team anyway. Ancelotti finally gave Toni Kroos some rest on the 80th minute, and the German had a chance to enjoy a standing ovation from the Bernabéu. He signed to replace Xabi Alonso and barely five months after that Kroos already has the fans in his pocket.

Cristiano Ronaldo was visibly frustrated, and he ended the game scoreless. The Portuguese star might have a chance to smile again during this Monday's FIFA Ballon D'Or ceremony. For the time being, Real Madrid have a reason to be happy again after losing two straight games.

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