Real Madrid vs. Espanyol: Final score 1-0, Jesé ensures Madrid advance to the semifinals

Denis Doyle

An early goal from Jesé was all Madrid needed to advance to the Copa del Rey semifinals.

Real Madrid's Jesé scored a lovely goal in the 7th minute and Real Madrid coasted to a 1-0 victory over Espanyol, taking their Copa del Rey quarterfinal tie 2-0 on aggregate.

With just a one goal advantage after the first leg, Real Madrid knew they needed an early goal to put Espanyol under serious pressure. It took barely over seven minutes for Los Blancos to score.

Xabi Alonso unleashed a stunning diagonal ball over the top of the Espnayol defense, right to the chest of Jesé who brought the ball down and blew past Joan Capdevila into the box. Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla wasn't in the best position, giving Jesé plenty of room to shoot, and the youngster didn't waste his chance lifting a shot over Casilla's shoulder and giving Madrid a 1-0 lead.

Casilla did his best to keep his team in the match, twice making tremendous saves as the match progressed, including a sliding save on Cristiano Ronaldo early in the second half. Ronaldo's shot looked sure to find the back of the net, but Casilla blocked the attempt with a sliding save that left the Portuguese striker with nothing to do but smile in disbelief.

Any slim chances of an Espanyol comeback were dashed in the 77th minute when defender Víctor Sánchez was shown a second yellow card for an extremely harsh handball call. The ball appeared to bounce into Sánchez's arm, with not obvious intent from the defender, but the referee was quick to send him off.

If you're keeping track at home, this is Madrid's 8th straight clean sheet in all competitions. That's a club record.

Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Nacho, Coentrão (Pepe 73'), Illarramendi, Alonso, Di María (Casimiro 86'), Jesé, Ronaldo, Isco (Morata 81')

Goals: Jesé (7')

Espanyol: Casilla, Raúl Rodríguez, Sidnei, Moreno, Capdevila, Abraham, Sánchez, Álex (Ramos 78'), Pizzi (Stuani 66'), Torje (Cordoba 46'), Sergio García

Goals: None

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