Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale for their trip to Espanyol but that didn’t stop them from equalling the Periquitos’ local rivals Barcelona’s league record of 16 consecutive wins.
Goals from James Rodriguez—his first for the club in five months—and Karim Benzema made sure los Blancos head into mid-week’s clash against Villarreal with one eye on breaking a record held by their fierce rivals.
Ronaldo, who made a scoring return to the side last weekend, was absent with a sore throat and Bale’s hip injury sustained during Real’s Champions League win over Sporting Lisbon meant that he didn’t travel as well. But Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez made sure the stars weren’t missed as their side ran out comfortable winners at the Cornella-El Prat.
The win sees the Merengues sat atop the standings with four wins out of four, and manager Zidane took the record to salute the work being done by his players. The win also broke the club’s previous winning streak of 15 games under Miguel Munoz in 1960/61.
“Of course, the record means a lot to us because it’s proof of the phenomenal work all the players are doing. Getting points is the most important thing but it’s also nice to have a record like this,” said Zidane after the game.
With the Clasico a fair distance away, Real have a chance to widen the gap between themselves and second placed Barca when they take on Villarreal Tuesday night, with the Blaugrana set for a titanic clash with Atletico Madrid the following day.