Real Madrid survive Casillas dismissal to defeat Espanyol

Real Madrid have gained ground on Barcelona with victory over Espanyol.

Real Madrid have gained ground on Barcelona with victory over Espanyol.

Madrid overcame the second-minute dismissal of Iker Casillas to beat Espanyol 1-0 at Cornella and move to within five points of Barca.

Casillas was shown a straight red card for a supposed foul on Jose Callejon just outside the box after less than 90 seconds, but the Espanyol forward appeared to go to ground far too easily after minimal contact with the Spain keeper.

The dismissal - only the second in Casillas' distinguished career at Madrid - produced an immediate reshuffle from Real coach Jose Mourinho, who sent on reserve keeper Adan and hauled off Argentina winger Angel di Maria.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Madrid looked the more dangerous and Marcelo gave the visitors the lead midway through the first half when he drilled home from a tight angle.

Emmanuel Adebayor missed three glorious chances to extend Madrid's lead, but Marcelo's strike proved enough as Mourinho's side kept Espanyol at bay with relative ease in the second half.

 
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