8 of the Best Ever Backheel Goals in Football History – Ranked

?The backheel. A skill which all of us can do, but not very well. Much like a ‘rabona’, we’ve all practised it in our backyard, away from the prying eyes as we tie ourselves in knots and collapse to the ground. 

Well, Luis Suárez showed the world how to do the perfect backheeled finish on Saturday evening, amid all the Lionel Messi magic in Barcelona’s 5-2 victory over Real Mallorca. 

After some exquisite ?Barca buildup play, Frenkie de Jong laid the ball into the path of Suárez, who – back to goal – somehow dinked an unfathomable backheel over the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Manolo Reina. It was truly mind-boggling

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A moment of sheer brilliance from El Pistolero, but he is not the first to perfect this skill. 

In honour of Suárez’s moment of artistry, 90min takes a look at eight of the greatest backheel goals of all time. 

8) Gianfranco Zola vs Norwich 

The Italian wizard kicks off this glorious list. ?Chelsea are facing Norwich in the FA Cup, and the hosts win a corner. Danger for the Canaries. What they probably didn’t expect though, was a fierce backheel strike from Gianfranco Zola, whilst running away from goal. 

Gianfranco Zola

But that’s exactly what he did. Zola ran beyond the near post, yet somehow managed to direct the ball towards goal, lifting it enough to beat the surprised goalkeeper. The diminutive magician made so many people fall in love with Premier League football, and this was one of the many reasons why. 

7) Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Bastia 

Of course, the king of acrobatics makes the list. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s elasticity is impressive for a man of advancing years, and he demonstrated this nicely in a 4-0 victory over Bastia in 2013. Dani Alves’ cross is flicked on with a backheel (appropriate) and the ball hangs in the air for what seems an eternity. 

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As it’s dropping behind the big Swede, Ibrahimovic manages to elevate his leg to head height, and connect perfectly with the ball, firing it into the top-right corner. 

Dare to Zlatan. 

6) Jeremy Menez vs Parma 

If a game that ended 5-4 between ?Milan and Parma wasn’t mad enough, how about we add the cheekiest of backheel finishes in the mix? With the game balanced at 4-3 to the Italian giants, and with both sides down to ten men, Menez latched onto a weak backpass and poked the ball around the onrushing goalkeeper. 

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With the angle narrowing for the pacy winger as the ball trickled across the six-yard box, Menez confidently clipped a chip-shot over the despairing goalkeeper to seal the game for I Rossoneri. 

A lovely one. Also, check out the own goal at the end of the game – an absolute clanger. 

5) Sadio Mané vs Watford 

When you take a bad touch in front of goal, it often means that the chance has probably gone. Well, not with ?Sadio Mané in attack. The ?Liverpool star tried to bring down a whipped cross from the right-hand side, but his mis-control allowed the ball to squirm away from goal. 

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As the goalkeeper rushed out to close down the angle, and the Watford defenders swarmed around him, Mané produced an intuitive backheel finish which had just enough air to avoid Ben Foster’s dive. 

This man really can do anything. 

4) Cristiano Ronaldo vs Valencia

?Cristiano Ronaldo scores every type of goal, so it’s no surprise that he is included in this prestigious collection of players. Back in 2014, Ronaldo was wowing the Real Madrid crowd week-in, week-out, and he produced a stunning finish against Valencia to add to his repertoire of extraordinary goals. 

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The ball fell to winger Angel Di Maria on the left flank, and his lobbed cross arrived at around waist-height for the Portuguese star. With a violent karate-esque swing of his right leg, Ronaldo chopped the ball beyond the goalkeeper with unbelievable power. The Valencia shot-stopper laughs as he gets to his feet, knowing that his opponent is not human. Talk about unfair advantages. 

3) Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs Italy


Yep, he’s made the list twice. During a Euro 2004 game between Sweden and Italy, Ibrahimovic produced a mesmerising finish for his country. A deep corner is met at the far post, and a nod-down across the box causes chaos in the Italian defence. 

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?Amid all of the panic and flailing limbs, Ibra remains calm and lucid enough to run away from goal, put himself between the ball and the lunging goalkeeper and acrobatically flick a shot back towards the net. It loops, it floats, and it nestles in the onion bag, despite the best efforts of the man on the line.

A great goal on a huge occasion. That’s Zlatan.

2) Thierry Henry vs Charlton


Well, this legend was bound to make the list, wasn’t he? 

Possibly the Premier League’s greatest ever player scored an outrageous backheel against Charlton back in the 2004/05 season for ?Arsenal, and it was a beauty. Back to goal (obviously), Henry was being hustled and grappled by Jonathan Fortune, who was determined to prevent the genius forward from turning.

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?In response, Henry backheeled the ball through the defender’s legs, baffling the goalkeeper, who could do nothing to prevent one of the greatest Premier League goals of all time

1) Fabio Quagliarella vs Napoli 

And there we have it, number one in the list – and a goal befitting of its ranking. 

Fabio Quagliarella, 35 years old and plying his trade in the mid-table of Serie A, produced one of the greatest moments of his long career against former side ?Napoli. A ball is whipped in from the right-hand side and into the path of Quagliarella, who has plenty to do whilst facing away from goal on the penalty spot. 

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??The Italian striker leapt in the air, and with one of the most graceful flicks of a right boot that the world has ever seen, the Sampdoria star swept the ball into the far corner with unthinkable timing and precision. 

Bravo, Fabio.


25 of Scandinavian Football’s Best Young Talents

The January transfer window is just around the corner and teams across Europe will be looking to strengthen their squads for the remainder of the campaign. Some will also be focused on building for the future, perhaps keen on adding young talent. 

Erling Haaland has made the headlines as one of the most coveted players in the world so far this season, while Martin Odegaard has come back into the limelight with his performances for Real Sociedad – giving everyone hope that he has a bright future after he returns to Real Madrid. 

Keeping them in mind, here we look at 25 of the best young footballers from Scandinavia. It might be worth keeping track on them…

25. Mattias Svanberg

Mattias Svanberg

Mattias Svanberg is plying his trade at Serie A club Bologna, and is an important member of their first-team squad. He’s a regular in their team and made 24 appearances in all competitions last season – and he only turns 21 in January.

Svanberg is a stabilising presence in central midfield, and has shown great composure and ability on the ball. 

Given his talent and age, the midfielder – who came to Italy from Malmo – is sure to attract the attention of bigger clubs across Europe in the future.

24. Malte Amundsen

Valentino Lazaro,Malte Amundsen

Malte Amundsen started his career at HB Koge, before joining Norwegian giants Rosenborg in January 2018. They loaned him out for six months before eventually deciding to sell him to Vejle BK in his homeland, Denmark. 

At Vejle, Amundsen has made an impact in attack. The club are currently top of the league and hopeful of securing promotion to the Danish Superliga.

23. Anton Kralj

Anton Kralj currently plays as a left-back for Sanderfjord Fotball in the Norwegian First Division, also known as the OBOS-Ligaen, which is the second-highest level of football in the country. 

The 21-year-old Swede, who also spent time at Malmo FF, has been good this season. As his performances continue to improve, he should be in line for a move in the near future.

22. Aapo Halme

Aapo Halme

Aapo Halme has been a regular for Championship side Barnsley in the 2019/20 season.

Halme is a product of HJK Helsinki and had left them in January 2018 to join Leeds United. After missing a lot of time due to a foot injury, he started to make his presence felt and was part of the first-team squad, making four appearances and earning praise from Marcelo Bielsa. 

The 21-year-old left Leeds to join Barnsley this past summer and has been good for his new team. At 6’5″, he is one of the tallest defenders in the league, and is good on the ball too – allowing him to play in defensive midfield when needed.

21. Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak,Gareth Bale

Alexander Isak was signed by Borussia Dortmund in January 2017, after the striker broke through at the age of 16 for Swedish side AIK. He scored 13 goals in 29 appearances for them, and immediately drew the attention of top clubs across Europe.

After struggling at Dortmund for two years, he secured a loan move to Willem II in the Eredivisie, where he scored 13 goals and provided seven assists in just 16 games. Following his great finish to the campaign, he moved to Real Sociedad, but on a permanent deal. 

Dubbed as the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is being given consistent opportunities to impress as a substitute – it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a starter for them.

20. Edvard Tagseth

U19 Germany v U19 Norway - U19 Four-Nations Tournament

Formerly at Liverpool, the 18-year-old moved back to Norway to join heavyweights Rosenborg after failing to agree a deal with the Merseyside club. 

Tagseth is a versatile, hard-working, left-footed midfielder, who can get his hands dirty for the team, as well as go forward due to his ability on the ball.

19. Onni Valakari

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was the shining light in what was otherwise a disappointing league campaign for Tromso. He scored seven goals and created another in the 2019/20 season. 

Given his attacking abilities and his young age, it is just a matter of time before teams from the bigger leagues in Europe show interest in signing him.

18. Simon Marklund

The 20-year-old has shown signs of developing into a player who could perform well at the highest level in the last year. Having made his debut in the Swedish top division at the age of 16, the attacking midfielder has now played in the first three tiers to get more experience.

Moving to Kongsvinger in the Norwegian second division, Marklund made seven goal contributions in 28 appearances last season, leading them to fifth position – their highest ever finish in the league.

17. Jorgen Strand Larsen

KRC Genk v Sarpsborg 08 - UEFA Europa League - Group I

The 19-year-old striker is currently plying his trade at Norwegian top division side Sarpsborg 08 FF. He helped them avoid relegation and stay in the division with his four goals and three assists. 

Larsen also spent a year on loan at AC Milan with their U-21 team, as the Italian giants had identified him as player with great potential who could develop into a leading striker in the future.

16. Leo Väisänen

Leo Väisänen has had an interesting journey in his football career so far, helping RoPS secure their highest ever finish of second in the premier division of Finnish football (Veikkausliiga). After impressing for RoPS, he joined Dutch side Den Bosch in August 2018. 

The 22-year-old central defender has been an integral part of the Dutch second tier side, and was key to them securing a fourth-place finish in the Eerste Divisie last season. His performances have been noticed by bigger teams in Europe and are likely to lead to a move for him soon.

Väisänen would be hoping to follow in his brother, Sauli’s footsteps, who plays for Serie B side, Chievo Verona.

15. Joel Asoro

Dutch Eredivisie"Fc Groningen v Feyenoord Rotterdam"

Still only 20, Asoro has experienced a turbulent time in his club career so far, going through some highs and some lows. Initially a target for some of Europe’s biggest clubs, the striker eventually joined Sunderland in 2015, aged 16.

Asoro became the Black Cats’ youngest ever Premier League player when he made his debut as a substitute in August 2016, at the age of 17. He scored three goals and assisted two while playing for them in the Championship in the 2017/18 season. 

He moved to Swansea for the 2018/19 campaign, but failed to get settled, only providing two assists. The striker has now moved to Groningen in the Eredivisie, where he is slowly getting back to his best.

14. Marko Johansson

Marko Johansson is considered to be one of the most talented young goalkeepers in Sweden. Being Swedish, he is of Macedonian origin, which makes him eligible for both countries. 

Known to be very confident, Johansson has had a noticeable season at his current club GAIS, where he was sent on loan by Swedish giants Malmö FF.

At GAIS, he has enjoyed first-team action and helped them avoid relegation in the Swedish Superettan. Malmö have already called him back from his loan spell in order to prepare for the upcoming season.

13. Victor Jensen

Victor Jensen

Playing for Jong Ajax, Victor Jensen has shown himself to be a talented winger and has regularly contributed goals.

Jensen also made his debut for the Denmark U-19 in 2019. Still only 19, he will definitely be a part of the Ajax team in the future.

12. Julian Faye Lund

A Norwegian goalkeeper, Julian Faye Lund has been labeled as one of the most exciting young goalkeepers in his country. After showing great potential as a youngster at hometown club Oppsal IF, he was quickly signed by Norwegian powerhouse Rosenborg BK in 2015.

Despite his young age, he is considered to be mature beyond his years, which saw him get loaned out to recently promoted side Mjondalen IF. After a tough season in the Norwegian Eliteserien, the 20-year-old helped his team avoid relegation and stay in the top division.

11. Lassi Lappalainen

Lassi Lappalainen

Lassi Lappalainen has made great strides at a very young age, and is one of the best prospects to come out of Finland in recent years. 

The 21-year-old left winger, who can also play as a forward, is currently plying his trade at Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer. Lappalainen is on loan at the Canadian club from Serie A side Bologna, who signed him in the summer of 2019. 

He scored three goals for HJK Helsinki back home in Finland in the 2018/19 season and added to that tally with five goals in MLS.

10. Martin Kuittinen

Martin Kuittinen, who can play both as a winger and a wing-back, holds both Finnish and Polish passports. 

A youth product of La Liga club Real Valladolid CF, the pacy winger moved to Portuguese side S.U Sintrense in search of regular first-team football. After spending two years in Portugal, he was linked with Östersunds FK, who were the favourites to sign him. 

However he eventually signed for Icelandic side Vikingur Olafsvik on a short-term deal, where he managed to impress by scoring two and assisting five goals – which constituted 25% of his team’s total goals in that period. 

Kuittinen is being followed by Portuguese Primera Liga sides, for a possible return to the country.

9. Alfons Sampsted

Sampsted is a right-sided defender for Swedish side IFK Norrköping and has recently gained a lot attention, becoming one of the Icelandic prospects for the future. Having a long term contract with the Swedish club, he has come very close to becoming a first-choice option under the management of Jens Gustafsson.

Norrköping, who finished fifth this season in the Swedish Allsvenskan, loaned him out to his home club Breidablik Kópavogur for more experience.

If he continues to progress as he is, he could become an important part of IFK Norrköping.

8. Mathias Bringaker

Bringaker is a Norwegian striker playing currently for IK Start. 

Though not the tallest, his strength and goalscoring ability stand out. He scored seven goals and provided three assists for IK Start last season. 

Bringaker came through the Eliteserien side Viking FK, but moved to Start to play regularly, and has made remarkable progress. If he can repeat his good performances next season, he is likely to gain a move to a club outside the country for the first time.

7. Dejan Kulusevski

Dejan Kulusevski,Theo Hernandez

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has been extremely impressive for Parma on loan from Atalanta. He has been an integral part of his team’s early season form, as they sit in eighth position in the table.

Kulusevski is now attracting the interest of teams like Juventus and Inter in Italy, while Premier League giants like Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with him too.

His work rate, ability to create and score goals and dribbling are all strong facets of his game. Kulusevski recently also made his senior debut for Sweden and should be a part of Euro 2020.

6. Nikolai Laursen

Dutch Eredivisie"VVV Venlo v FC Emmen"

Talented Danish striker Nikolai Laursen joined Eredivisie side FC Emmen in the summer of 2019 after spending the last four years with Jong PSV – the reserve side of PSV Eindhoven. 

A product of the famous Danish club Brondby IF, Laursen has been consistently involved in the 2019/20 Dutch league for Emmen. Tall and lanky, the 21-year-old would be hoping to add to his burgeoning reputation in 2020 to secure a move to a bigger club.

5. Jacob Bruun Larsen

Jacob Bruun Larsen

The 21-year-old Danish winger has been at Borussia Dortmund for four years now and has made it to the first-team. He has been a regular squad member in all competitions this season for Dortmund.

Larsen also made his senior debut for Denmark in 2019 and will be an important member of their team going forward.

4. Sander Berge

Sander Berge,Naby Keita

Sander Berge is a talented defensive midfielder, who reads the game very well, showing great composure on the ball and the ability to sense danger. 

Berge’s dribbling is an underrated facet of his game that allows him to contribute in attack effectively. A tidy player, the 21-year-old has been linked with the likes of Napoli and Liverpool, with Genk holding onto their priced asset for the moment. 

He has already made 20 appearances for the Norwegian national team and is a key player for them.

3. Mohamed Daramy

Mohamed Daramy has already made 19 appearances in all competitions in the 2019/20 season for FC Copenhagen, and contributed one goal and three assists. 

Though his parents come from Sierra Leone and he holds a Sierra Leonean passport, the 17-year-old has said that he would like to play for Denmark. 

Daramy has interest in his services from both Celtic and Liverpool.

2. Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard

The Norwegian prodigy has been playing in Europe’s biggest leagues since the age of 16, having been signed by Real Madrid in January 2015. He has since spent multiple spells on loan honing his talent.

Known for his composure on the ball, great vision and eye for goal, Odegaard has been extremely impressive for Real Sociedad in the opening months of the season in La Liga. 

Odegaard found it tough in his initial years at Real, playing for Castilla and struggling on loan for two years at Heerenveen. However, his career really kicked off on loan at Vitesse Arnhem in the 2018/19 season, as he scored 11 goals and provided 12 assists, helping them finish sixth in the Eredivisie. 

He has been La Real’s most important player this season, and has become a crucial member of the Norway side that will be part of the Euro 2020 play-offs in March 2020.

1. Erling Braut Haaland

FC Flyeralarm Admira v FC Red Bull Salzburg - tipico Bundesliga

The hottest young talent being talked about in the transfer market currently is Norwegian striker Erling Braut Haaland. The Red Bull Salzburg man has been in incredible goalscoring form in the Austrian Bundesliga.

However, what has caught the attention of teams all over Europe have been his performances in the Champions League. 

At just 19, Haaland’s game has a lot of room to develop and yet, he is being linked with the biggest clubs in the world, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona expressing most interest. 

Having played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde, many believe that the Red Devils are in the driver’s seat for his signature. 

Looking at 25 of the best young Scandinavian footballers in the world


Real Madrid Must Raise €200m in January Sales – Gareth Bale & James Rodriguez Up for Grabs

Real Madrid are apparently planning to push ?Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez out the exit door in the January transfer window, with the club under pressure to recoup €200m to balance their books.

Los Blancos spent €307m on new signings before the start of the season, with Eden Hazard, Luka Jovi? and Éder Militão among a handful of new players that joined Zinedine Zidane’s squad in the summer.

They could only sell €130m worth of players during the summer transfer window, and Marca reports that Real Madrid need to make up the difference – roughly €200m – in order to balance their books.

Gareth Bale

As far as Financial Fair Play regulations are concerned, UEFA do actually allow teams to have a net spent of €100m, but this still means Real Madrid will be forced to undergo a fire sale in the January transfer window.

Marca don’t name exactly who will be under threat of being pushed out of the club, but ESPN understandably guess that both Bale and Rodríguez will be at the front of that queue.

Elsewhere in the squad, the January transfer window will also prove to be the last chance that Real Madrid have to sell Luka Modri?, as well as centre-back Nacho Fernández, as his contract expires at the end of the season.

Even with Real Madrid under pressure to sell players, that hasn’t stopped the club being linked with a move for Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It was suggested on The Transfer Window Podcast that Los Blancos would look to exchange summer signing Jovi? in an attempt to sweeten a deal with Arsenal.

The Gabon international is apparently ready to quit Arsenal after halting talks over a new long-term contract, so a deal which sees Jovi? move to north London in exchange for Aubameyang could suit all parties, although at this stage there isn’t much substance to the rumour.

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Real Madrid Set to Offer Manchester United Two Players in Deal to Sign Paul Pogba

?Real Madrid are set to launch a huge bid for Manchester United star Paul Pogba in the January transfer window, and the Spanish giants could offer two players as makeweights in the deal to land the French midfielder.

Pogba was linked with a move to Madrid last summer, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was adamant that the France international would remain in Manchester, and Los Blancos’ interest faded. 

Paul Pogba

The 26-year-old has remained firmly on the Spanish giants’ radar however, and ?El Desmarque reports that Madrid will return for Pogba in January, and may offer Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez as part of the deal. 

?Bale and ?Rodriguez are not thought to be part of Madrid’s future plans, despite featuring regularly for Zidane’s team over the course of the season. 

The French boss is willing to lose both players if it enables ?Pogba to make the move to the Spanish capital, and with United previously showing interest in the Madrid duo, the deal could suit both parties. 

?The Red Devils have suffered badly with injuries this season, and the club is under no illusion that they must strengthen their midfield options if they are to compete with the top sides in the league. 

Paul Pogba,Lucas Torreira

Pogba has only played in five ?Premier League matches for the Red Devils this season, and he is currently out of action due to an ankle injury. The former ?Juventus midfielder was an influential figure for his team last season however, scoring 13 goals in 35 league appearances. 

Solskjaer’s side have struggled in his absence this year, but a recent run of decent results has seen them climb to sixth in the table, eight points adrift of the Champions League spots. Man Utd travel to fierce rivals ?Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, as the visitors look to land a severe blow to their neighbours’ title challenge. 


Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Los Blancos Climb to La Liga Summit

?Goals from Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema either side of half time saw Real Madrid overcome Espanyol at the Bernabeu, stretching their unbeaten run to nine games and climbing to the top of La Liga in the process.

The home side looked bright from the get-go with Vinicius Junior the brightest spark on his return to the Real Madrid starting XI, the Brazilian forcing Diego Lopez into a good early save after a mazy run. 

Espanyol were well organised in their 3-5-2 though, and frustrated the hosts for much of the opening period. They showed that they weren’t afraid of pressing Los Blancos high either, a ploy that led to their only significant chance of the opening period – an Esteban Granero header that was batted away by Thibaut Courtois after the visitors had dispossessed Casemiro deep in his own half.


The hosts did take the lead before the break, Varane finishing expertly with his weaker left foot after being fed in the left-hand channel by Benzema – who was rather fortunate to get away from Aritz Elustondo.

After a poor opening 45 minutes, Pablo Machin’s men started the second period well, with Sergi Darder and Wu Lei failing to capitalise on good openings in behind the Real Madrid back line. Benzema, meanwhile, was denied one-on-one with Lopez after being found by Federico Valverde in a quick attacking transition by the hosts.

The Real pair then combined for their side’s second, with Benzema latching onto a loose ball before playing a delayed one-two with the Uruguayan, the former smartly finishing past the impressive Lopez for his 11th La Liga goal of the season.

Ferland Mendy’s sending off ten minutes from time didn’t lead to any improvement from the visitors, as Real waltzed home to a 2-0 victory.


Key Talking Point

While the performance didn’t quite match their stunning all-turquoise attire, Zinedine Zidane will be content with his side’s work on Saturday afternoon.

They were in total control from the outset and were rewarded for their persistence in the opening period through an unlikely source. 

Zinedine Zidane

It’s fair to say that they dropped off for much of the second half, despite only holding a one-goal lead, and the home faithful were starting to get a little restless as Espanyol began to look a little more dangerous going forward. 

However, a Benzema strike after 79 minutes put any nerves at ease and they strolled to the top of La Liga ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Mallorca tonight.

On the whole, it was a crucial win without some of their key stars while the performance of Vinicius, who was electric at times, would’ve also pleased Zidane.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (6); Carvajal (5), Varane (8*), Ramos (6), Mendy (6); Valverde (7), Casemiro (7), Kroos (6); Rodrygo (5), Benzema (7), Vinicius (7).

Subs: Modric (6), Diaz (N/A)

Star Man

While Vinicius was bright going forward and Casemiro superbly shielded the back four, it was Raphael Varane who was largely responsible for Courtois’ and Real’s easy afternoon at the Bernabeu.


The World Cup winner was cool in possession amid Espanyol’s high press and was dominant in the air, ensuring that Jonathan Calleri didn’t have a sniff throughout. His speed proved key as well when covering Dani Carvajal – who was often caught out of position – down the right-hand side.

Not only was the Frenchman stout defensively, but he also showed his credentials in the final third – finishing brilliantly for the game’s opener.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Diego Lopez (7); David Lopez (5), Espinosa (7), Calero (6); Gomez (5), Granero (5), Roca (6), Darder (6), Vila (6); Lei (5), Calleri (6).

Subs: Campuzano (6), Lazano (6).

Looking Ahead

Real Madrid return to Champions League action in the week as they travel to Club Brugge on matchday six, although their place into the knockout stages is already booked. They then face Valencia at the Mestalla next Sunday in their next La Liga clash.

Before their home fixture against Real Betis next Sunday, Espanyol take on CSKA Moscow in the Europa League next Thursday. Pablo Machin will likely rest key starters for that one, with his side having already secured their place into the round of 32.