Ghana midfielder Michael Essien completed his full first match of the season on Monday night as he helped Real Madrid to a 2-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on his La Liga debut.
The midfielder was handed a starting role ahead of Sami Khedira and partnered Xabi Alonso in Mourinho’s set-up that thoroughly dominated the game
Essien, who is on a season-long loan move from Chelsea, was impressive in the first half but waned a bit after the break as he makes his recovery from two serious injuries.
He was shown the yellow card for handball on five minutes but after the break he showed his predatory instincts.
In the 52nd minute, his right footed shot from outside the box missed the target narrowly as he charged in front of Rayo’s goal.
Real, who had lost their opening two away matches in La Liga, may have seen the early passages of play go in Rayo’s favour, but took the lead early on.
From two yards out and unmarked, Karim Benzema finished a neat counter-attack from Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria.
Jose Mourinho’s team eventually did get a second goal, as Ronaldo converted a penalty, having seen his original low cross from the right handled by a sliding Jordi Amat.
Ronaldo failed to finish off an excellent passing move by the visitors just minutes after that, when his chipped effort in front of an open net came back off the post.
Jose Casado’s late tackle on Mesut Ozil earned him a second yellow in stoppages.
Watch full highlights of the game and Essien’s performance