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Espanyol vs Real Madrid. Spanish La Liga.

Cornella - El PratAttendance30,153.

Espanyol 0

    Real Madrid 2

    • J Rodr√≠guez (47th minute)
    • K Benzema (71st minute)

    Espanyol 0-2 Real Madrid: Real notch 16th straight La Liga win to equal Barcelona's record

    Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring the opener
    Image: James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring the opener for Real Madrid at Espanyol

    Real Madrid overcame Espanyol 2-0 on Sunday to equal Barcelona's record of 16 consecutive La Liga wins.

    The victory matches the efforts of their fierce rivals, who achieved the feat under Pep Guardiola in the 2010-11 season.

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    In the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema stepped up to send Real back to the top of the table.

    A moment of individual brilliance saw Rodriguez open the scoring in his first start of the season, while Benzema tapped home after the break to seal the three points.

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    La Liga round-up, including action from Real Madrid's 2-0 away win against Espanyol

    Zinedine Zidane's men knew they would be chasing the record without Bale - who was injured in the 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday - and Ronaldo, who was absent through illness.

    The enforced changes saw Rodriguez come into the starting line-up, having been a used substitute in three of Real's previous four games.

    Karim Benzema of Real Madrid competes for the ball with David Lopez (L) and Hernan Perez of Espanyol
    Image: Karim Benzema competes for the ball with David Lopez (L) and Hernan Perez

    The visitors should have opened the scoring when Sergio Ramos glanced a header wide despite being unopposed from a corner.

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    Moments later, a glorious chance fell to Espanyol's Leo Baptistao, but he could only shoot straight at Kiko Casilla after muscling Pepe off the ball.

    Karim Benzema had the ball in the back of the net five minutes before the break, but he was marginally offside as he headed in from Marcelo's cross.

    Karim Benzema (L) celebrates with his team mate Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid after scoring his team's second goal
    Image: Benzema celebrates with Lucas Vazquez after scoring his team's second goal

    Baptistao went close again for the hosts, but he flashed his header past the post after Lopez's whipped ball in.

    Just before the break, Rodriguez somehow wriggled beyond two challenges before shooting from 25 yards out, and his low effort was too strong for Diego Lopez as it nestled in the far corner.

    In the second half, Lopez did well to keep out Benzema's effort on the hour-mark, after the Frenchman teed himself up and volleyed on the turn.

    Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos (C) acknowledges the crowd
    Image: Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos (C) acknowledges the crowd

    Ten minutes later, Benzema got his goal, turning the ball home from six yards out after Lucas Vazquez's low cross picked out the Real striker.

    Casilla kept Espanyol at bay after getting his fingertips to a deflected effort from Felipe Caicedo, which was destined for the top corner.

    Real ran down the clock to secure the win, leaving Espanyol without a under Quique Sanchez Flores this season.

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