• Sunday, May 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:49 pm

Real's PSG preparations hit by surprise Espanyol defeat

  • Published at 10:15 am February 28th, 2018
Real's PSG preparations hit by surprise Espanyol defeat
Cristiano Ronaldo was rested and the supporting cast failed to show up as Real Madrid endured a shock 1-0 defeat away to Espanyol on Tuesday. Gerard Moreno struck in the 94th minute at the RCDE Stadium as Real's rotated line-up felt the full punishment for a slack and disjointed display. Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Isco all struggled, the trio squandering the chance to impress ahead of next week's Champions League second leg with Paris Saint-Germain. Bale was certainly not the only Real player out of sorts but the 28-year-old, now back to full fitness, was perhaps under most pressure to stake his claim. After missing with a number of efforts at goal, and receiving a yellow card in the first half, he was finally replaced with nine minutes remaining. Zidane, however, would not be drawn on the performance either of Bale, or the rest of his stand-ins, after the match. "If you lose here today it is because things did not work for many reasons, not just because of a player or a play," he told beIN Sports. Instead it was Gerard who stole the show as Espanyol scored a deserved win that sees them climb to 13th in La Liga. Real, meanwhile, will fall 17 points behind leaders Barcelona if the Catalans overcome Las Palmas on Thursday. "If the result is not what we want then it is a step back," Zidane said. "I do not have to reproach my players, we played the game but we did not get what we expected." With PSG left praying for a miracle after Neymar was stretchered off wth a foot injury on Sunday, Zidane wrapped his own star player up in cotton wool, as Ronaldo was not even included on the bench. Zidane would not be drawn on Neymar's chances of recovery. "We have to wait, all we know is he is injured," the Frenchman said. Karim Benzema was also rested, allowing Bale his 116th La Liga appearance, drawing him equal with David Beckham. The Welshman almost gave the visitors an early lead, reacting first to Achraf Hakimi's deflected cross but poking his near-post header too close to Diego Lopez. Real, however, gradually ceded the ascendancy to Espanyol, who twice could have been in front were it not for a combination of sloppy finishing and bad luck. Gerard was the protagonist in both, the forward first failing to capitalise on a skewed Raphael Varane clearance and then doing brilliantly to control a thundering half-volley from Carlos Sanchez, only to see his finish ruled out for offside. Replays suggested Real had been fortunate to escape. Bale wanted a penalty when his driven shot was blocked by the hand of Victor Sanchez at the back post but the defender knew little about it. Instead, Espanyol sustained their momentum at the start of the second half, with Keylor Navas able only to watch as Sergi Darder's header plopped onto the top of the crossbar. Bale cut a figure of increasing frustration. One ballooned shot over from the edge of the area was quickly followed by two scuffed finishes. They were not easy chances but a player of his calibre would have hoped to do better. With just over 20 minutes left, Benzema replaced the ineffective Isco but Espanyol came closest to snatching a winner when Gerard's header was saved from six yards. Bale trudged off in the 81st minute and Gerard finally got the goal he deserved, catching Sergio Garcia's cross perfectly with a brilliant shot that sailed past Navas and into the corner.
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail