BARCELONA, (Reuters) – Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema produced an audacious back-heeled assist for Casemiro to score as they beat Espanyol 1-0 away yesterday to capitalise on Barcelona’s slip-up a day earlier and move two points clear at the top of La Liga.
Brazilian midfielder Casemiro slid to the ground to guide the ball home on the stroke of halftime after being played in by a stroke of genius from Benzema, who dragged the ball through the legs of his marker Bernardo Espinosa to find his team mate.
Casemiro was Real’s most dangerous player and nearly opened the scoring early on with a wild shot from his own half which forced Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez to scramble back towards his line and push the ball away.
“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.”
Espanyol’s Espinosa was inches away from connecting with a ball which flashed across the face of goal while Real defender Marcelo was forced to block a shot in added time which he almost deflected into his own net but the ball skidded wide.