Casemiro grabbed the only goal in Real Madrid’s game against Espanyol after lashing in a cheeky Karim Benzema‘s exquisite assist to go two points clear at the top.
Brazilian midfielder Casemiro slid to the ground to guide the ball home on the stroke of halftime after being played in by Bnezema who unpicked the Espanyol defence, by dragging the ball through the legs of his marker Bernardo Espinosa to find his teammate.
Zinedine Zidane‘s men led the league by virtue of their superior head-to-head record going into the weekend and were boosted by Celta‘s late equaliser against Barcelona on Saturday.
Real‘s players embraced each other when the final whistle was blown to give them their fifth consecutive victory since the start of the replay, which took them top on 71 points after 32 games. leaving Barca with 69 points after their draw against Celta with six games to play.
Casemiro was the most dangerous player from the away side and nearly opened the scoring early on with a wild shot from his own half which forced Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez to make a world class save back toward his line topush the ball to safety.
Casemiro then somehow missed the target with a header when he appeared unmarked from close range, but he soon made amends thanks to the quick-thinking of Benzema.
“It was a nice assist but the goal was more important, Casemiro did well and got us three important points after a very difficult game,” said Benzema.
Espanyol remain rooted to the foot of the table, 10 points from safety with their 26-year stay in La Liga in jeopardy.
Real Madrid still have Getafe, Athletic club. Deportivo Alaves, Granada, Villareal, And Leganes with Athletic club looking to be the only threat been a tough match played away from home.
Zinedine Zidane‘s men willbe looking to continue their run of form to clintch their first title in three years .