Real Madrid took to the road once again this weekend in a La Liga classic matchup against RCD Espanyol. In another display of their world-renowned brand of highly-entertaining offense, they defeated the home side by four goals to climb to third in the standings.
The result was Madrid's third consecutive victory in all competitions after suffering a mid-September slump that saw them fall to a surprising seventh place in the domestic league table. Both Madrid and FC Barcelona surprised fans around the world with their slow starts to the season, but both have recaptured the form they are so well known to possess and resume their annual race for the title.
Madrid took little time to ponder their attacking capabilities following that slump, opening their scoring account to take the lead in the 17th minute, when Cristiano Ronaldo fed the ball to Gonzalo Higuaín, who slipped it past the goalkeeper for his first of the night.
But Espanyol weren't lacking of opportunities early on, either. Surprisingly, they nearly matched the Spanish giants in shots throughout the match, and had a good case for penalty decision in the first half that was rejected by the referee.
Despite their surprising pace, Espanyol failed to capitalize on their numerous opportunities, which would ultimately have dire consequences for their game at home.
In the second half, Madrid opted to give the home side a lesson in the importance of finishing when Higuaín buried another beautiful goal in the 66th minute to open up the play and allow Madrid to run away with the match.
In the 82nd minute, former Espanyol player José Maria Callejón gave the visitors a three-goal advantage. And with one minute left to play, Higuaín put away his third for the night to complete the hat trick and secure the victory once and for all (if there was any doubt).
Madrid now sits one point behind Barcelona in the standings, who share the top spot with a surprisingly hot Levante side that defeated Madrid just a couple of weeks ago.
They will enjoy a brief two-week break in their schedule following the road trip, before returning home to play Betis on October 15th.
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