A single goal from Pepe in the 55th minute saw Real Madrid to a hard fought 1-0 win over Espanyol in a La Liga match at the Estadio Cornellá-El Prat on Sunday.
Despite seeing the majority of the ball it was not the best performance from Real Madrid in front of goal where they proved to be extremely wasteful.
Still, Espanyol did start brightly and created an opening for themselves as early as the fourth minute, but Christian Stuani failed to direct his effort on target from close range after latching onto a deep cross into the box.
Madrid, however, were at it four minutes later as Karim Benzema met a Marcelo cross, but his shot on the spin went agonisingly wide.
Cristiano Ronaldo should have opened the scoring in the 19th minute, but he scuffed his shot wide under no pressure as he met a low Benzema cross.
A minute later Kiko Casilla was forced into his first real save, beating away a powerful long range effort from Angel Di Maria.
In the 32nd minute Casilla was called into an action again, this time denying Ronaldo from the edge of the box with a fingertip save.
Four minutes later and Ronaldo was thwarted by Casilla again, this time the keeper using his feet to keep the Madrid striker at bay from 30-yards out.
In the 42nd minute Benzema met a cross from the right, but his effort skimmed the wrong side of the post as the two teams went into the half time break all-square.
The start of the second half saw Madrid continue to pile on the pressure and they were finally rewarded for their efforts in the 55th minute as Pepe headed home a Luka Modric free-kick, 1-0.
Ronaldo should have made it two in the 67th minute after he was played through on goal by Modric, but again he scuffed his shot wide of the goal.
A minute later Ramos came close for Madrid as he met a cross from Gareth Bale, but he headed his effort wide of the goal.
Espanyol tried to find their way back into the match, but struggled to get hold of the ball as Madrid played the rest of the match out with relative ease.