Benzema gives Madrid advantage

Real Madrid earned a narrow first-leg lead in their Copa Del Rey quarter-final against Espanyol, winning 1-0 at Estadi Cornella-El Prat.

Karim Benzema scored the only goal in the 15th minute, heading home at the far post after Alvaro Arbeloa's cross was flicked on.

Espanyol improved in the second half and Sergio Garcia went close from distance while Iker Casillas had to make a superb one-on-one save from Jhon Cordoba late on to preserve his side's first-leg lead.

The second leg takes place next Tuesday at the Bernabeu. This week's remaining first-leg games see Barcelona travel to Levante and Real Sociedad host Racing Santander tomorrow while, on Thursday, Atletico Madrid face Athletic Bilbao.