Real Madrid ends skid against Espanyol, 3-0

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Real Madrid ends skid against Espanyol, 3-0

Gareth Bale scored with an unstoppable free kick to help 10-man Real Madrid end a two-game losing run with a 3-0 win over Espanyol and stay top of the Spanish league on Saturday.

James Rodriguez scored first after a long pass from Bale was headed back to the Colombian by Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabeu in the 12th minute.

Bale made it 2-0 in the 28th when Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla could only watch as he rifled a left-foot free kick in off the post.

Madrid played with 10 men from the 53rd after Fabio Coentrao got a direct red card for a low tackle, but the difference was unnoticeable, and substitute Nacho Fernandez scored in the 76th with Espanyol in disarray.

Madrid’s comfortable victory came after its Spanish record 22-win streak ended with losses at Valencia in the league and Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

Madrid built a four-point lead over Barcelona and Atletico, before the defending champion visits Camp Nou on Sunday.

A moment of silence was held before the match for the 12 people killed at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office in Paris. Madrid also paraded its Club World Cup trophy won last month before kickoff.

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