Madrid beaten without Ronaldo

Tonya Becker
March 3, 2018

Gerard Moreno scored an injury-time victor as Espanyol beat Real Madrid for the first time in over a decade.

The result left Madrid in danger of losing third place to Valencia, who were two points behind going into their match at Athletic Bilbao yesterday.

It wasn't a vital game; 14 points behind a Barcelona side who remain unbeaten, Madrid's league aspirations have gone with 13 games still left to play, though at least one of the teams above them will drop points on Sunday when Barca host second-placed Atletico Madrid.

"I'm angry for my players, because they conceded a goal in the last minute. the opposition did not enjoy many chances", said the Frenchman. We didn't play our game or with substance in the second half.

Zidane had rotated heavily thinking of next week's Champions League last-16 second leg at Paris Saint-Germain, although the XI still included worldwide stars like Bale, Ramos, Raphael Varane and Isco.

Real Madrid lost 1-0 away at Espanyol yesterday after resting the likes of first-team regulars Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Daniel Carvajal.

No sooner had Madrid impressed on Saturday against Alaves by winning five fixtures in a row for the first time in 2017-18 than suffered another setback and it is really the story of their season. Madrid were eying their 6th consecutive win against Espanyol and rested key players including the likes of Cristino Ronaldo, Casemiro and Luca Modric. Its last league win came eight rounds ago, at Levante. "The 1-0 is undeserved, but this is football".

They failed to close the gap on the La Liga leaders though as Gerardo Moreno's 93rd-minute strike earned Espanyol a surprise win.

Espanyol previously had not beaten Madrid in their own stadium, which opened in 2009. "We're still involved in a special competition, in the Champions League, and have to prepare for it and go in to it full of confidence". "We began very well in the first half, had chances to score, but didn't take them".

"We didn't deserve this defeat, it hurts".

Portu scored a 14th-minute victor to put Girona in seventh place, two points behind sixth-place Sevilla.

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