Madrid: Real Madrid showed real character to close the gap on leaders Barcelona to five points winning 1-0 at Espanyol on Sunday, despite playing virtually the whole match with 10 men after goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas was sent off after just 90 seconds.
Brazilian international left back Marcelo scored the decisive goal on 23 minutes as Real took advantage of Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Sporting Gijon on Sunday to edge closer in the title race - but it took a battling display from Madrid's 'Galacticos'.
"Espanyol are a strong opponent and they always have fantastic support. Losing your goalkeeper in the second minute and giving a debut to another keeper was tough," said Real coach Jose Mourinho. "The players were fantastic, though, and we deserved to win."