Gareth Bale scores on Real Madrid return

La Liga leaders Real Madrid pulled four points clear of the chasing pack with a 2-0 win over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

  • Real Madrid 2 Espanyol 0
  • Morata denied by offside flag
  • Spaniard scores moments later
  • Bale seals win in closing stages
  • Real on four-match winning streak

Match Summary

Isco created both goals, crossing for Alvaro Morata to head home the opener on 33 minutes before feeding Bale on the counter-attack to fire past Diego Lopez seven minutes from time.

A fourth straight win for Zinedine Zidane's side saw them open up a four-point gap to Barcelona in second place, ahead of their clash with Leganes on Sunday.

Full Report

Los Blancos controlled proceedings early on, but had little to show for their dominance, with Pepe directing a corner from Toni Kroos wide of the left post in the 12th minute for their only real chance in the opening stages.

They turned on the gas just after the half-hour mark, however, when Cristiano Ronaldo sent a shot wide after Lucas Vazquez pounced on a mistake from Pablo Piatti to set up the Portuguese forward.

Real thought they had scored moments later as Morata got on the end of Kroos' low cross, but the offside flag went up to deny the Spaniard, who did manage to open the scoring soon afterwards with a header from six yards out to convert Isco's delivery from the right.

Morata should have bagged a second goal just two minutes later when he connected with Nacho's cross, but he failed to test Lopez from a few yards out as the ball went wide of the left post.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead into the break, although the Catalans looked to restore parity early in the second half from Hernan Perez's shot at the near post, which was kept out by Kiko Casilla.

Ronaldo then steered a header over the crossbar in the 69th minute as he stretched to get on the end of Morata's cross from the left. 

Real would make the game safe on 83 minutes when a quick counter saw Isco pick out Bale, who fired into the far bottom corner of the net from inside the area on the left.

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