It was expected to be a comfortable win for Los Blancos, but Espanyol sensed an upset. They are a team full of inconsistencies, either good or awful, but they have saved some of their better performances for this competition.
Espanyol defended with passion, goalkeeper Kiko was their star man keeping out Ronaldo time after time. They were undone early on, however. In only the seventh minute, Xabi Alonso threaded a perfect ball through for Jese to collect. The angle was tight but the Madrid winger clipped it over Kiko for the only goal of the game.
Real Madrid will meet either Athletic Bilbao or city rivals Atletico in what should be a semi-final to savour. There were other reasons for Ancelotti’s team to celebrate however.
Madrid have now gone an incredible eight games without conceding a goal, a club record. There was a personal club record as well – Iker Casillas notching up 682 minutes and counting without conceding a goal. A stat that former Madrid manager Jose Mourinho might want to ignore.