Real Madrid vs Espanyol : Under Santiago Solari, they are starting to show signs of the battling spirit and confidence expected of a Madrid team, epitomised quite brilliantly by Sergio Ramos’ Panenka penalty during their midweek Copa del Rey win against Girona.
But the creases have not entirely been ironed out, as their recent defeat against Leganes proved. Their road to redemption, therefore, promises to be a long one – and not without bumps.
The impressive victory against Sevilla last weekend, achieved thanks to goals from Casemiro and Luka Modric, is the surest sign yet that they are slowly heading in the correct direction.
“I try to face each game with the maximum guarantee of winning,” he explained on the eve of this clash. “I want all the players who are involved to be focused and to work with enjoyment.
“Espanyol are capable of putting us under pressure and have fast forwards in attack. They’re dangerous and that’s why I’ve repeated so often the need for concentration and to pay attention from the first second.”
Real Madrid vs Espanyol : Spanish Primera División
It was all going so well for Espanyol. Indeed, the Catalan outfit only lost two of their first 11 La Liga matches of the 2018-19 campaign, which left them in and around the top four entering the month of November.
Since then, however, things have gone downhill. Indeed, Rubi‘s side have only won one of their last nine in Spain’s top flight, suffering eight defeats in the process. They were thumped 4-0 at home by Barcelona in the latter stages of 2018 and results have not exactly improved in 2019.
It has not exactly been the most straightforward of seasons for Real Madrid, but there is still every chance that it could be a successful campaign for the capital giants.
Santiago Solari’s side have beaten Real Betis and Sevilla in their last two league matches, although a title challenge this term seems unlikely with Barcelona 10 points clear at the summit and showing no signs of dropping points.