Real Madrid on the top of the table after narrow win

Real Madrid are two points clear at the top of La Liga after grinding out a victory at bottom club Espanyol.

Casemiro scored the only goal as he latched onto Karim Benzema’s brilliant no look backheel through the legs of defender Bernardo Espinosa before firing home.

Karim Benzema is the third La Liga player to reach double figures in goals and assists in all competitions this season, after Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The Brazilian had earlier gone close to the opener when his shot from his own half was saved by Diego Lopez.

Espanyol had several chances with Thibaut Courtois making five saves.

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They put up a good fight, with Wu Lei among the players to go close, but fell just short.

Real Madrid are now only six wins or five wins and a draw from a second La Liga title since 2012.

City rivals Atletico can do them a favour when they visit Barca on Thursday.

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