Real Madrid vs. Espanyol: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

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Real Madrid vs. Espanyol: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Real Madrid cruised to a 1-0 second-leg win over Espanyol in their Copa del Rey quarter-final match at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Jese scored in the seventh minute to give the home side a 2-0 aggregate lead and from that point the result never looked in doubt.

Carlo Ancelotti's side came out of the blocks with killer intent. There was no chance of Real Madrid allowing lethargy to creep in despite their first-leg lead.

Espanyol, meanwhile, appeared determined not to concede, first and foremost, with the hope of sneaking a goal on a counter-attack.

KICKTV
Via KICKTV

Perhaps it was the only tactic that could have worked for the visitors, but with their first tentative foray forward, they were punished by Real Madrid with a goal.

Xabi Alonso sent a gorgeous long pass to youngster Jese, who controlled with his chest before finishing with deadly accuracy.

Madrid were well in control after the goal and could have extended their lead through Cristiano Ronaldo, but Espanyol were able to hang on before attempting something of a fightback later in the first half.

It was more of the same in the second term, as Espanyol looked incapable of causing any real anxiety to the Real Madrid defense. Set pieces looked like the only way the visitors might steal a goal, but even those proved ultimately fruitless.

In the end, Madrid hung on easily to book their spot in the Copa semis.

 

Reaction

 

Ratings

Real Madrid

Casillas 7: Did not have a notable save to make, but extended his record to eight clean sheets in a row.

Ramos 8: Did well to marshal his namesake, Sergio Garcia, and was generally composed at the back.

Coentrao 8: Had an excellent game in attack and defense before coming off injured in the second half.

Ronaldo 6: Looked like he was operating in second gear. Involved in a few good moves and was thwarted by Casilla on several occasions.

Alonso, 7: Played the sumptuous pass which set up Jese's goal. Fairly quiet otherwise.

Arbeloa 7: Another solid display. Hard to find fault in his defending.

Nacho 6: Was the only Madrid defender to have a couple of shaky moments.

Jese 7: Took his chance superbly. Only contributed sporadically after that.

Di Maria 5: Quiet evening for the Argentine, who seems to be constantly fighting for a starting spot.

Isco 6: Distributed the ball well enough, but should be making more of a mark on games like this.

Illarramendi 6: Similar to Isco in that he didn't do much wrong, but could have imposed himself more.

 

Espanyol

Casilla 8: Proved Ronaldo's nemesis tonight with a string of excellent saves. Madrid could have won by more if not for the Espanyol keeper.

Rodriguez 5: Never looked all that comfortable dealing with the two Portuguese on his flank.

Sanchez 5: Another who looked quite out of sorts all evening. Earned himself an inevitable red with two yellows.

Sidnei 7: A real bright spot for Espanyol. Showed his power and determination on defense to stifle Madrid's attacking players.

García 5: Probably the least effective of Espanyol's attacking players.

Pizzi 6: Got himself in good positions several times, but could not produce a finish to shock Madrid.

Capdevila 5: The only positive to say about his performance was that Real Madrid's right side never looked all that dangerous. 

Moreno 5: Could be held responsible for the goal, but most defenders would have had trouble stopping that.

Alex 6: Looked as though he could produce something, but was given little opportunity to do so.

Abraham 5: Unable to do much to blunt Real Madrid's midfield threat or offer much on attack.

Torje: Probed a little and sent in some dangerous-looking free kicks, but was not lethal. Hooked at half-time. 

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