Gerard Moreno affected deep in stoppage-time to provide Espanyol a dramatic 1-0 win over Real Madrid at RCDE stadium on Tuesday.
However, with more than 2 minutes of added time played, Espanyol broke clear and Moreno crashed the ball past Keylor Navas to provide the Barcelona club a first win over Real Madrid since 2007.
The result finished Espanyol’s 22-match winless streak against Real, while additionally snapping Los Blancos’ 11-game winning streak against the Barcelona-based club.
Madrid were wanting to create on a seven-match unconquered run in La Liga, which had seen them acquire six victories and score thirty goals. Instead, they lost a fifth game this season after only losing 3 times in the 2016-17 campaign.
Head coach Zinedine Zidane opted to create 5 changes from Sunday’s 4-0 home win over Alaves, with captain Sergio Ramos back from suspension.
Gareth Bale preserved his place, and the Wales forward almost opened the scoring on seven minutes.
However, his close-range header flew straight at Espanyol keeper Diego Lopez after right-back Achraf Hakimi had got on the overlap.
Raphael Varane’s header from a corner was simply off target as Real continuing to dominate the opening exchanges.
Pablo Piatti fired well over before striker Moreno was denied by Navas, who threw out a leg to deflect his angulate shot wide.
Espanyol had the ball in the net simply after the 30 minutes, however Moreno’s end from a long-range free kick by carlos Sanchez was offside in what replays showed to be a debatable decision.
At the other finish, Marcos Llorente pulled a low effort wide as once more Real failed to create the most of their possession.
Bale needed a penalty just before half-time when his shot cannoned off Victor Sanchez, however the referee wasn’t interested in the appeal for what would have been a harsh handball decision against the Espanyol midfielder.
Early in the second half, Navas had to create a smart save at the close to post from Sergio Garcia’s angulate effort.
From the resulting corner, Real were fortunate not to go behind as Sergi Darder’s header looped onto the highest of the crossbar.
With twenty minutes left, Karim Benzema, who netted a late penalty against Alaves, replaced Isco.
Navas again required to be alert when producing a smart low stop down to his left from Moreno’s header.
The Real Madrid keeper, though, may do very little to prevent Espanyol snatching a dramatic winner deep into stoppage time.
Moments after Ramos, who had been pressed forward by Zidane, was simply unable to get on the end of a coffee ball across the face of goal, the hosts broke quickly with the ball puzzled out to Garcia on the right.
Garcia pulled the ball back towards the edge of the penalty area, where Moreno arrived to crash it past Navas with almost the last kick of the sport and seal Espanyol’s first win over Real Madrid in some twenty two matches.
Defeat leaves Real Madrid in third place, fourteen points behind leaders Barcelona, who have a game in hand and 2 ahead of Valencia, however having played one match more.