Matchday Musings: Espanyol 1-1 Real Madrid
Ricardo Carvalho Impresses
Ricardo Carvalho was deemed surplus to requirements last summer and hasn’t really enjoyed the best season so far as he spent most of it on the bench and, when he did get a chance to play, really showed his age and wasn’t very confident. Today, though, was very different as he jumped into last ditch challenges, was ready to intercept the high balls, and held his position quite well as Espanyol were trying to find a way to get the winner.
Espanyol’s Attacking Line
Though they may not be placed high in the La Liga table, Espanyol boast a great attacking lineup consisting of Sergio Garcia, Christian Stuani (who scored during the game), and Juan Verdu. It has to be said that the Catalan team were slightly unlucky not to leave the game with three points as the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo to the Real Madrid team made things difficult and Hector Moreno was able to find the back of the net for the second goal but was ruled out for a foul on Xabi Alonso, which could easily not have been counted.
Originally part of the Real Madrid Castilla team, Nacho was able to get a few minutes with the first team and has been playing more recently. Tonight, he was able to show confidence and composure as Espanyol found spaces to attack. He was always up for the challenge and also found time to join the attack at some periods during the game. Jose Mourinho admitted recently that he deserves a new contract and to cement a place in the Real Madrid first team. A man of the match performance from the young defender.
Injury Woes For Los Merengues
Real Madrid have the final of the Copa del Rey coming up on Friday night and they have a couple important injuries to worry about. Mesut Ozil was injured in the midweek game against Espanyol and, tonight, the sensational defender Raphael Varane had to be substituted off after only 15 minutes with a leg injury. Both players will have to race against time if they hope to even have the possibility of playing in the final against Atletico Madrid, who host Barcelona tomorrow night.
Barcelona Win La Liga
With Real Madrid failing to beat Espanyol, it has become mathematically impossible for them to retain the La Liga Trophy and therefore Barcelona are officially the champions of La Liga 2012/2013. A season of ups and downs for the Catalans but they were able to stay fairly consistent and deservedly win the trophy this season.