Real Madrid maintained their perfect start to the new La Liga season as goals in either half saw them beat Espanyol 2-0 at the RCDE Stadium on Sunday.
- Espanyol 0 Real Madrid 2
- James opens scoring just before HT
- Benzema doubles visitors' advantage
- Real set new record with 16th straight win
James Rodriguez opened the scoring on his first league start for Los Blancos in first-half stoppage time and Karim Benzema doubled their advantage on 71 minutes to seal a 16th consecutive top-flight win for Zinedine Zidane's side – a new club record which stood since 1960/61.
The Madrid giants are now also the only team in the league with a 100% record as they moved three points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona in second place.
The visitors made a poor start in Catalonia, with a sloppy clearance from Pepe falling for Leo Baptistao on 11 minutes, but his header was kept out by Kiko Casilla.
Real looked better when Toni Kroos replaced the injured Casemiro on 19 minutes, with the German starting to control the midfielder alongside Luka Modric.
The European champions thought they had taken the lead on 38 minutes when Benzema headed home a cross from Marcelo, but the offside flag went up against the French striker.
Periquitos threatened to break the deadlock moments later as Baptistao got on the end of Hernan Perez's cross, but steered his header just wide of the goal.
But James showed just what he is capable of at the end of the first half, repaying Zidane's faith in him by opening the scoring with a low strike from outside the area after shrugging off the challenges of Perez and Pape Diop.
Benzema went close to extending Los Blancos' lead in the opening stages of the second half with a volley on the turn that was blocked by Diego Lopez.
And in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, the third prong of their attack got his name on the scoresheet with 19 minutes remaining. It was a brilliant team move that was started by Dani Carvajal, who released Vazquez down the right and he in turn picked out Benzema with a low cross that was thrashed home from close range.
Felipe Caicedo nearly halved the deficit for the hosts shortly afterwards as his shot from inside the box took a deflection, forcing Casilla to push it behind.
A free-kick from Sergio Ramos hit straight at Lopez was the only real chance in the closing stages as Real continued to lead the charge in Spain.