Real Madrid 3-1 Espanyol: Player ratings as Vinicius, Militao and Asensio on target in comeback win

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Real Madrid came from behind to cut Barcelona’s lead at the top of LaLiga to six points, with Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao and Marco Asensio scoring in a 3-1 win over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid went into Saturday’s match without a win in three games and threatened to lose further ground in the title race when Joselu’s early strike put Espanyol ahead.

However, Vinicius Junior’s solo effort quickly leveled matters before Militao nodded home at the back post to give the home side the lead before half-time.

Asensio escaped at the back to score a late third to ensure Madrid moved six points behind Barcelona ahead of the Blaugrana’s trip to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, where the Clasico rivals meet next week in a huge clash.

Espanyol stunned the Bernabeu with their first real attack in eight minutes, Joselu guiding a side-footed finish into the top-right corner after Ruben Sanchez got in behind Eduardo Camavinga and slotted home.

Madrid almost went 2-0 down when Vinicius Souza’s header forced Thibaut Courtois into action, but they were level on 22 minutes when Vinicius Junior leapt over and fired a superb finish into the bottom right corner.

With Espanyol under unbearable pressure, Militao put Madrid ahead six minutes before the break when he flicked Aurelien Tchouameni’s delicate cross off the crossbar.

A last-ditch clearance from Vinicius Souza denied Rodrygo as Madrid continued to press after the break before Leandro Cabrera powered home at the other end.

Rodrygo then rattled the crossbar with a fine free-kick as Espanyol faded before substitute Asensio finished with a calm one-on-one finish to secure the points at the break.

Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Thibaut Courtois – 6/10 – Came charging out to claim crosses and made a couple of important stops.

RB: Dani Carvajal – 7/10 – Created a couple of chances out wide and was frugal in possession, only being dispossessed once.

CB: Eder Militao – 7/10 – Lost ground behind Joselu before the striker smashed in Espanyol’s opener. Got on the scoresheet himself with a well-controlled header and managed the end of the game well.

CB: Nacho Fernandez – 7/10 – Skippered the side but was certainly sleepy during the opening exchanges. Got better and moved out to left-back late on, where he assisted Asensio’s goal.

LB: Eduardo Camavinga – 5/10 – Got caught under a high ball before Joselu’s opener. A little errant positionally, as you’d expect from a natural central midfielder playing left-back.

CM: Luka Modric – 7/10 – Glided around in his unique style and helped keep Espanyol penned in when Real upped the pressure.

CM: Aurelien Tchouameni – 7/10 – Dallied on the ball before Espanyol broke and scored. Wicked cross for Militao helped put Real back ahead.

CM: Toni Kroos – 8/10 – Got an assist for giving Vinicius the ball out wide. Upped the tempo when Real started sloppily and they soon began creating chances.

RW: Federico Valverde – 7/10 – Worked like a dog out wide before coming into a central role in the second half.

ST: Rodrygo – 7/10 – Performed really well in Benzema’s absence and was unfortunate to see a free-kick attempt come back off the woodwork.

LW: Vinicius Junior – 8/10 – Had to take it upon himself to drag Real level. That injection of energy lifted his side on towards the win.


Substitutes

Marco Asensio (72′ for Modric) – 7/10 – Applied the finishing touches for Real’s third goal.

Antonio Rudiger (74′ for Kroos) – 6/10

Dani Ceballos (74′ for Tchoumeni) – 5/10

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