COPA DEL REY

Real takes first leg edge vs. Espanyol

Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (R) is congratulated by his teammate Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale
Karim Benzema scored Real Madrid's lone goal vs. Espanyol.
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP)

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A first-half goal from Karim Benzema guided Real Madrid to a 1-0 win at Espanyol in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal on Tuesday.

Nine days after Madrid eked out a 1-0 victory at Espanyol's Cornella-El Prat Stadium in the Spanish league, the visitors were again limited to the narrowest of winning margins - despite dominating the first half, when Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post before Benzema headed home in the 25th minute.

The second half was more evenly matched and Espanyol's Sergio Garcia came close to an equalizer before Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas denied Jhon Cordoba in a one-on-one in the 83rd minute.

The second leg will be played next Tuesday.

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