Modric deserves Ballon d'Or, says Isco and di Francesco

Luka Modric goes off to a standing ovation at the Bernabeu

Luka Modric goes off to a standing ovation at the Bernabeu. ANGEL RIVERO MARCA

Isco's free-kick gave Madrid the lead in the Group G clash before Modric's brilliant pass sent Gareth Bale through to add a second, with substitute Mariano Diaz on target in stoppage time.

After starring in Madrid's 3-0 win over Roma in their Champions League opener in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, Modric said: "I'm very happy when I hear the Bernabeu singing about the Ballon d'Or, and the praise from my team-mates and fans".

Espanyol coach Rubi said he was pleased with his side's display, but was disappointed they left the Bernabeu without a point.

"Our people, our fans have to know that this Atletico Madrid team will always show up, whether or not results go our way, and they are, bit by bit".

Silver added: "It is true that popularity has grown and that the venues are getting better, but there is still a way to go, we will continue to study it, but it does not fit into our short-term plans".

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui claimed to be satisfied with his side after a tough 1-0 at home to Espanyol. When players that haven't played come in, like those two, Nacho... it's good news for us.

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There is also a start in midfield for Dani Ceballos, while Thibaut Courtois is back in goal after Keylor Navas started against Roma.

"These post-Champions League games are always really unsafe and we know it".

The Belgium worldwide had a relatively quiet night against an Espanyol team that did give Real Madrid's defence a handful of worries, but did not really threaten the goal.

"Modric had a great season, but that's about all I can say". "I think we should take advantage of it".

Bale has scored three goals in his last two Champions League games for Real, as many as he had in his previous 27 combined for the club. "The club never said anything to me about it and I didn't have the chance to decide". "Thank you very much Cristiano", he said.

And 25-year-old striker Mariano - in his first game since returning to the club from Lyon for £29.7m - struck late on to give Real a scoreline that reflected their dominance.

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