2017-2018 Spanish Primera División
  • Isco (30', 71')

Isco double fuels Real Madrid to first home La Liga victory

Isco struck twice as champions Real Madrid beat Espanyol 2-0 to claim their first home win of the season in La Liga on Sunday.

The Spaniard found the net in each half as Zinedine Zidane's men stayed within seven points of early leaders Barcelona.

Real dominated the game but Espanyol occasionally threatened and almost got back into the game when Gerard Moreno hit a post late in the first half.

They also rallied after the break but Isco's second after 71 minutes ended their hopes.

Isco was highly impressive throughout and had his first opportunity of the game with just 22 seconds on the clock.

Espanyol had not even touched the ball when Sergio Ramos clipped a long ball forward and Isco chased it into the box.

He tried to nudge it past Pau Lopez but the keeper reacted quickly to grab the ball.

That set the tone for most of the first half as the hosts made all the running.

Luka Modric fired a long-range effort wide and Ramos had a firm header tipped over by Lopez.

Isco opened the scoring just before the half-hour in circumstances similar to his spurned earlier chance.

This time it was Cristiano Ronaldo who played the through-ball and this occasion Isco made no mistake as he poked the ball past the advancing Lopez.

Ronaldo went close to doubling the lead when he volleyed over moments later.

It was not until the final two minutes of the first half that Espanyol finally threatened, Moreno lashing a shot on the turn against a post after a slip by Casemiro.

The visitors carried that momentum into the second half. They played with more confidence and Sergio Garcia curled in one dangerous cross before Sergi Darder had a shot blocked and Jose Manuel Jurado forced Keylor Navas to save.

They were then almost presented with a gift equaliser as Moreno robbed Ramos in the box. Leo Baptistao would have had an open goal to shoot at had Moreno got the ball to him but Nacho slid in to make a vital interception.

Espanyol were to rue that missed chance as Real doubled their lead moments later. The ball was given away in midfield and Ronaldo pounced, feeding Marco Asensio. He in turned pulled the ball back and Isco stroked home from the edge of the box.

It proved enough for Real, who had further chances late on through Ramos and Lucas Vazquez.