Asensio sends Real Madrid top of La Liga


"Zidane is Real Madrid and he knows, along with Cristiano, that this is their house forever".

"Ten is a number that I like, but it's in the hands of Modric".

Mariano came on as a substitute in the 73rd minute, replacing Gareth Bale.

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has dismissed questions regarding Thibaut Courtois' footwork following their 1-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday. "What he achieved in the World Cup was extraordinary and in Real Madrid his skills have always been good. I can not say how many times they have put graffiti on my house and even my wife's gravestone which I have not mentioned up until now", he said.

Thibaut Courtois, playing in goal after Keylor Navas started in the Champions League, saved Madrid in one of the few good chances created by Espanyol in the first half, and Borja Iglesias nearly equalized but struck the crossbar in the second half after a mistake by Sergio Ramos.

Espanyol defended extremely well in the first half to limit Real Madrid's chances in the Spanish capital, while going close themselves on a couple of occasions. "That helps the team keep improving". He then saved from Marco Asensio who pirouetted in the area before getting his shot away.

In explaining why Vinicius was included in the initial 20-man squad, Lopetegui revealed it was down to other players having little time to train in the previous 48 hours.

Isco's superb opening goal from a set piece on Wednesday was reminiscent of Ronaldo's remarkable free kicks.

Courtois started in goal ahead of Keylor Navas and kept a clean sheet without being severely tested. "I hope to soon be back at the level I was playing last season". "Individual awards are great if they come, if not, nothing changes". "I was mentally and physically worn out after the World Cup, but I'm feeling better every day and I hope to keep playing how I have done tonight", Marca reported quoting Modric.

Lopetegui still has the option of bringing up talented Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior, who has been thriving with the "B" team after being bought for almost 45 million euros ($52 million) from Brazilian club Flamengo.