Match ends, Real Madrid 3, Espanyol 0.
Spanish leaders Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a routine home victory over Espanyol, despite playing for almost 40 minutes with 10 men.
Gareth Bale curled in a 20-yard free-kick, off the post, to double the lead.
Left-back Fabio Coentrao was sent off for a sliding tackle but it mattered little as Nacho slotted in the third.
Carlo Ancelotti's side are four points clear of nearest rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, with at least one of those sides poised to drop points when they meet in Catalonia on Sunday.
Real, who will have played a match fewer than their title rivals after the Nou Camp clash, have taken control of La Liga on the back of 12 successive wins.
Last Sunday's 2-1 defeat at fourth-placed Valencia ended their Spanish record run of 22 victories in all competitions, before they tumbled to another loss at neighbours Atletico in the Copa del Rey.
However, Italian boss Ancelotti insisted there was no cause for concern - and so it proved against mid-table Espanyol.
Rodriguez finished a classy move which saw Cristiano Ronaldo instantly pull back Bale's sublime cross-field pass into the Colombia midfielder's path.
Espanyol keeper Kiko Casilla was rooted to his spot as Bale whipped in the second, before Portugal defender Coentrao was harshly shown a red card after lunging into a 50-50 tackle.
But Espanyol could not take advantage of their extra man, with Spain defender Nacho drilling in Alvaro Arbeloa's left-wing cross at the far post for the third.
- 5da Silva CoentrãoBooked at 53mins
- 8KroosSubstituted forKhediraat 81'minutes
- 10RodríguezSubstituted forNachoat 54'minutes
- 9BenzemaSubstituted forIllarramendiat 63'minutes
- 7Cristiano RonaldoBooked at 53mins
- 20Rodríguez Ruiz
- 23ArbillaBooked at 70mins
- 22González Soberón
- 18Fuentes HernándezBooked at 27mins
- 4Sánchez MataBooked at 58minsSubstituted forLuque Condeat 62'minutes
- 28Jordán MorenoSubstituted forStuaniat 68'minutes
- 14Canas Ruiz Herrera
- 24Montañés ClaveríasBooked at 76mins
- 9García de la FuenteSubstituted forGonzález Casanovaat 82'minutes
- 7Fernández Iglesias
- 10González Casanova
- 16López Rodríguez
- 32Luque Conde
- David Fernández Borbalán
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Real Madrid 3, Espanyol 0.
Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Christian Stuani (Espanyol).
Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).
Luque (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Abraham.
Foul by Sami Khedira (Real Madrid).
Álvaro González (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Hand ball by Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol).
Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Felipe Caicedo (Espanyol).
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fuentes (Espanyol).
Offside, Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo tries a through ball, but Gareth Bale is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.
Substitution, Espanyol. Abraham replaces Sergio García.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Sami Khedira replaces Toni Kroos.
Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Kiko Casilla.
Attempt saved. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Gareth Bale.