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28.01.2014 » Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol. Cup semis secured and another clean sheet

Iker Casillas sets clean sheet record for Real Madrid

Real Madrid have qualified to the Copa del Rey's semi-finals this Tuesday night, after beating Espanyol at home by 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate). Jesé Rodríguez delivered the victory to the Merengues, after finishing off a great assist by Xabi Alonso.

Real Madrid is the first team to go through to the Copa del Rey semi-finals, after repeating last week's 1-0 away win against Espanyol, but this time at the Santiago Bernabéu. The hosts never really felt in danger of losing this tie, as they easily controlled Espanyol throughout most of this Tuesday's night clash, especially after grabbing an early lead still before the first 10 minutes of the game. Jesé Rodríguez replaced Benzema in the attack and made his presence felt when he scored the only goal of this game, his 4th of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score any this time around, as he saw several of his attempts being briliantly denied by Espanyol's goalkeeper, Kiko Casilla.

Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol goals and highlights video:

Carlo Ancelotti made a few changes to his team ahead of this Tuesday's game against Espanyol, starting by bringing Iker Casillas into the goalkeeper spot. At the back, Pepe gave his place for Nacho to partner with Sergio Ramos as centre back, Arbeloa replaced Carvajal as the team's right full back and Fábio Coentrão made his return to the left wing, allowing Marcelo to get a full game's rest. In midfield, Xabi Alonso, Illarramendi and Di María stepped on to make the core connection between the Merengues' defense and attack, while upfront it was up to Jesé Rodríguez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco to create danger.

As Real Madrid completed another game without conceding a single goal, not only has Iker Casillas set a new record (682 minutes) by beating Paco Buyo's 1994-95 mark of 658 minutes without conceding a goal, but he has also helped the Merengues extending the club's all-time consecutive clean sheets record into 8 games. Real Madrid is yet to concede a goal in 2014 and after last night's victory, the club has gone through the month of January with a perfect record of 8 games and 8 wins. In this very same period, the Merengues scored a total of 17 goals and didn't allow any in return.

Jesé Rodríguez, Real Madrid forward

The first and only goal that was scored in last night's win, arrived near the 7th minute of the first half. Espanyol had moved their defensive back line up on the field and Real Madrid's maestro, Xabi Alonso, was keen to spot a great opportunity to send through a long pass into the back of the defense. His man-target was Jesé Rodríguez, who had just started making a run for it to exploit the huge gap. The 20-year old forward didn't defraud the high expectations put on him ahead of this game and he brilliantly controlled the pass with his chest, just before he finished it off in great style.

Once Real Madrid got to the lead, there was a feeling floating in the air that we could be up to another massacre and goal fest at the Bernabéu. However and after a few outstanding stops made by Espanyol's goalkeeper, Kiko Casilla, especially against a couple Cristiano Ronaldo's short range shots, the hosts preferred not to push forward too much, as they already had the game and the 2-leg tie completely in control. The 1-0 score would drag right until the final whistle, as Madrid secured their ticket to the Copa del Rey's semi-finals, defeating Espanyol with a 2-0 result on aggregate.

Carlo Ancelotti's campaign in the Copa del Rey has been pretty much immaculate so far, as his side has beaten Olimpic Xativa, Osasuna and now Espanyol, without ever having condeded a single goal. In the Cup semi-finals that are scheduled for February, Real Madrid will either play against Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao. These two sides will face each other this Wednesday night at the new San Mamés stadium, with the Colchoneros carrying a 1st-leg 1-0 win from the Vicente Calderón, which may very well make all the diference in terms of deciding who moves forward into the next round.

Cristiano Ronaldo doing push-ups on the field

Real Madrid line-up vs Espanyol:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Arbeloa
Midfielders: Illarramendi, Xabi Alonso, Di María
Attackers: Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesé Rodríguez.

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Espanyol, next Tuesday night, for the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals (January 28, 2014). You can watch Juventus live stream, Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid, Barcelona vs Levante, Tottenham vs Manchester City and Chelsea vs West Ham, all matches provided from our football streaming section.

Real Madrid next game:
Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid
kick-off time (02-02-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 03:00
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 18:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 12:00
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 04:00

Sources: / / /

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