Donning green in an effort to support environmental protests in the city of Madrid, Real Madrid took to the pitch of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu not in white for the first time since 1967, and whilst the occasion may live long in the history books, the performance was a rather routine one.
Espanyol began the game well and held out but Real Madrid found a breakthrough via French defender Raphaël Varane who produced a poacher’s finish inside the box to give his side the lead. In the second half, Karim Benzema would double the advantage with a composed finish of his own to seal a 2-0 victory.
This tactical analysis will consider the tactics of Real Madrid and Espanyol in this La Liga fixture, providing analysis of what Zinedine Zidane got right and Pablo Machin got wrong as Espanyol continued to struggle while Real Madrid took another step closer to challenging Barcelona in the La Liga title race.
Real Madrid lined up recalling several of the men they opted to rest against Alavés, with Vinícius Junior and Rodrygo Goes lining up together in attack for the first time. Ferland Mendy also came into the side, though he would not last the full 90 minutes as he would collect two second-half yellow cards.
Espanyol lined up as expected with Wu Lei becoming the first Chinese player to play at the Bernabéu alongside Jonathan Calleri in attack.
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