It wasn't flashy, it wasn't a huge scoreline, but Real Madrid picked themselves up and earned themselves three points following back-to-back losses against Valencia and Atletico Madrid.
Iker Casillas: 6/10. Really wasn't troubled very much at all as the only shots Espanyol managed were mostly right at him. Good to see another clean sheet and solid work between the pipes.
Fabio Coentrao: 5/10. Good first half with some very solid play but went sliding in on a challenge in the second and got a straight red for it. Perhaps the red was harsh, but he really didn't need to go flying in studs high. Still managed to pick up two tackles, interceptions and clearances each.
Pepe: 7/10. Strong and composed after early shaky play, Pepe was a rock in the back and didn't have much at all to do today. Three clearances, two interceptions and virtually no mistakes. On form, Pepe is hands-down Madrid's best defender right now.
Raphael Varane: 8/10. A few shaky moments aside, provided a strong cover in the air and made no crucial mistakes today. Had a few beautiful passes and was a threat on set pieces with one header just barely missing the back of the net. Six clearances, two interceptions and a robust 87 percent passes compelted.
Alvaro Arbeloa: 6/10. Not spectacular but did a decent job avoiding any critical mistakes, left Iker hanging early in the second half with his indecision on the ball but toned for it with a cross that led to Nacho's goal. However, it's becoming more evident with each appearances that his decisions and lack of pacy could come back to bite Madrid in the back. Had an 85 percent pass completion rate, 24 crosses completed, three tackles and one interception.
Isco: 9/10. Fantastic defensive effort as he was tracking back on seemingly every Espanyol ball and made himself available all over the pitch. Isco took over in the second half with his control and dictation of the game and though some passes could've been more crisp, his sheer determination made up for it. Second most passes on the team and 90 percent completion rate, while picking up three tackles as he regularly harassed the Espanyol players.
Toni Kroos: 8/10. Anonymous in the first but not a poor showing before waking up in the second and becoming very influential. His defense, aside from a couple early game moments, was absolutely on-point as he was tackling and intercepting all over the place. He had a 95 percent pass completion rate, five tackles, and two interceptions.
James Rodriguez: 8/10. Great positioning and finish for his goal which eased any pre-match jitters from the crowd. Looked lively and showed no signs of his injury as he completed 91 percent of his passes and six out of his 10 crosses. Also had two tackles, interceptions and clearances each but was taken off following Coentrao's red card.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 7/10. Beautiful cutback pass to James for the assist early, but coasted through the first half. Started warming up in the second half but wasted a picture perfect pass from Benzema on a 5-on-3 counter and didn't really get any other opportunities aside from that. Still, had another(!) assist to his name and remains the favorite to pick up a consecutive Ballon D'Or on Monday.
Gareth Bale: 9/10. Good involvement early and had an incredible pin-point pass to CR for the pre-assist on the first goal. Took a ridiculous FK goal for Madrid's second and was everywhere to be found. However, he drew whistles when going on goal instead of passing to Ronaldo on a breakaway in the second half which was unfair given his full showing today was one of his best in a Madrid jersey. Completed 87 percent of his passes and five out of his six long passes found his target.
Karim Benzema: 6/10. Hit a ferocious shot off the post in the 10th, excellent effort but wasn't receiving much good service though his passing was good as usual. Taken off for Illarra in the second half as Madrid formed a more defensive shape.
Nacho: 8/10. Came on for James after the red and immediately made an impact as his dribbling and drives forward were a threat down the right flank and deservedly picked up his first career goal to show for it. Completed two out of his three crosses while making several strong defensive plays.
Asier Illarramendi: 6/10. Came on for Benzema in the 62nd minute and was solid in his duties. Completed 90 percent of his passes and had two tackles to boot.
Sami Khedira: 5/10. Got to run out for the last 10 minutes in place of Kroos but didn't have much time to make an impact.
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