La Liga: 10-man Real Madrid back on track with Espanyol win
Madrid: Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, despite playing most of the second-half with 10 men, to move four points clear at the top of La Liga.
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale heads the ball against Espanyol on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo was restored to the starting line-up after being rested in a 2-0 Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid in midweek and he set up James Rodriguez to open the scoring 12 minutes in.
Gareth Bale then doubled the hosts advantage with a sumptuous free-kick, but their route to a comfortable three points was complicated when Fabio Coentrao was sent-off eight minutes into the second period.
Espanyol, though, failed to make their man advantage count as Nacho added a third 14 minutes from time to put the pressure on Madrid's title rivals Barcelona and Atletico, who face each other on Sunday.