Title 2

 Espanyol  vs  Real Madrid

Espanyol will be without key defender Sergi Gomez through suspension following his red card against Rayo, with a one-game ban imposed.

Espanyol lineup (4-3-3): Lecomte - Oscar Gil, Calero, Cabrera, Brian Olivan - Vinicius Souza, Edu Exposito, Darder - Javi Puado, Ruben Sanchez - Joselu

Real Madrid lineup (4-3-3): Courtois - Vazquez, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba - Tchouameni, Modric, Kroos - Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Karim Benzema struck twice late on to give Real Madrid a 3-1 win over Espanyol and maintain the Spanish champions' 100 per cent start to the La Liga season.

Real Madrid took the lead after just 12 minutes when Vinicius Junior slotted home a composed finish following a through ball by Aurelien Tchouameni. At that point, the away team looked to be in control of the contest.

However, Espanyol grew as the first half progressed and grabbed an equaliser one minute before half-time when Joselu finished at the second attempt after a save by Thibaut Courtois had bounced back into his path.

Benzema volleyed home with just two minutes remaining after an excellent cross to the back post by Rodrygo before the French striker scored a third for Real Madrid against an Espanyol team that was reduced to 10 men in stoppage time due to the red card shown to Benjamin Lecomte.

Benzema has now scored 28 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid in 2022. No player in any of European football's big five leagues has scored more than the Frenchman, underlining the level at which he is operating right now. Even when he is below par, as he was for much of this match, he can be the one who makes the biggest contribution.

Goals: REA - Vinicius Junior - 12 mins. ESP - Joselu - 44 mins. REA - Karim Benzema - 88 mins REA - Karim Benzema - 90+10 mins

The final scoreline doesn't quite tell full the story of the whole match. Espanyol pushed Real Madrid all the way, but the quality of Benzema told in the end. A very entertaining match!