Spanish La Liga
Espanyol2Real Madrid4

Espanyol 2-4 Real Madrid: Bale scores on injury return

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale scored his 11th goal of the season three minutes after coming on as a substitute

Gareth Bale scored on his return from injury as Real Madrid beat Espanyol to move up to third in La Liga.

The Welshman scored three minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute to put Real Madrid 4-1 ahead.

Two goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos' header had given Real a 3-1 half-time lead, with Leo Baptistao replying for Espanyol.

Raphael Varane was sent off before Roberto Rosales pulled another goal back, but Real held on for a 4-2 win.

The win sees Santiago Solari's side move back above Sevilla and narrow the gap on city rivals Atletico Madrid to five points.

Stuttering Real hold on for win

They may have ultimately secured their third win in a week, but this topsy-turvy match sums up Real Madrid's inconsistent season.

The European champions look as fearsome as ever going forward, but their vulnerability at the back perhaps explains why they are 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

They made the perfect start, taking the lead after just four minutes. Luka Modric's curling shot was only parried by Diego Lopez and Benzema was alert to score the rebound from close range.

Modric had a role in Real Madrid's second 11 minutes later, the Croat collecting Tony Kroos' short corner and putting in a cross that was converted by Ramos.

But with Real looking in control, Espanyol got back into the game out of nothing. Baptistao pounced on a loose ball in the box before powering a shot into the roof of the net.

Real Madrid looked to have struck the decisive blow when Benzema scored his second just before half-time, the Frenchman playing a neat one-two with Vinicius Junior before stroking the ball into the corner.

With Real Madrid looking in control, Solari was able to bring on Bale, who has been sidelined for three weeks with a calf injury, midway through the second half.

Three minutes later, with virtually his first touch, Bale showed great skill to backheel the ball away from two defenders before powering a shot past Lopez for his 11th goal of the season in all competitions.

But with the game seemingly won, Real allowed Espanyol back into the game.

First Varane was deservedly shown a straight red card for tripping up Pablo Piatti when he was clean through on goal before Rosales pulled one back with a thumping volley.

Line-ups

Espanyol

  • 13López
  • 16López Rodríguez
  • 27López
  • 22Hermoso
  • 12ViláSubstituted forRosalesat 64'minutes
  • 10DarderSubstituted forMelendoat 75'minutes
  • 21RocaBooked at 7mins
  • 18LópezBooked at 85mins
  • 11BaptistaoSubstituted forPiattiat 71'minutes
  • 7Iglesias
  • 9GarcíaBooked at 34mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jiménez
  • 4Sánchez
  • 8Rosales
  • 14Melendo
  • 19Piatti
  • 23Granero
  • 31Campuzano

Real Madrid

  • 25CourtoisBooked at 90mins
  • 2CarvajalBooked at 81mins
  • 5VaraneBooked at 72mins
  • 4RamosBooked at 27minsSubstituted forNachoat 45'minutesBooked at 88mins
  • 23Reguilón
  • 10ModricSubstituted forMarceloat 76'minutes
  • 14Casemiro
  • 8Kroos
  • 17Vázquez
  • 9Benzema
  • 28Vinícius JúniorSubstituted forBaleat 64'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Nacho
  • 11Bale
  • 12Marcelo
  • 18Llorente
  • 22Isco
  • 24Ceballos
  • 30Zidane
Referee:
Jesús Gil Manzano
Attendance:
20,910

Match Stats

Home TeamEspanyolAway TeamReal Madrid
Possession
Home36%
Away64%
Shots
Home13
Away16
Shots on Target
Home6
Away9
Corners
Home1
Away6
Fouls
Home15
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Espanyol 2, Real Madrid 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Espanyol 2, Real Madrid 4.

Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Javi López (Espanyol).

Booking

Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Sergio García (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

Pablo Piatti (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Nacho (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

Álex López (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

Foul by Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).

Marc Roca (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Álex López (Espanyol) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Álex López (Espanyol).

Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

Pablo Piatti (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

VAR: Goal. Referee decision on field cancelled.

Delay in match (Real Madrid). Video Review.

Goal!

Goal! Espanyol 2, Real Madrid 4. Roberto Rosales (Espanyol) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Marc Roca with a through ball.

Booking

Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

Borja Iglesias (Espanyol) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Álex López (Espanyol) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Marc Roca.

Sergio Reguilón (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Óscar Melendo (Espanyol).

Offside, Espanyol. Sergio García tries a through ball, but Borja Iglesias is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Sergio García (Espanyol) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Óscar Melendo.

Attempt missed. Roberto Rosales (Espanyol) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

Pablo Piatti (Espanyol) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Madrid. Marcelo replaces Luka Modric.

Substitution

Substitution, Espanyol. Óscar Melendo replaces Sergi Darder.

Attempt saved. Sergi Darder (Espanyol) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt blocked. Sergio García (Espanyol) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Borja Iglesias.

Attempt blocked. Pablo Piatti (Espanyol) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Dismissal

Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) is shown the red card.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 27th January 2019

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona21154258213749
2Atl Madrid21128132131944
3Real Madrid2112363426839
4Sevilla21106536221436
5Alavés209562223-132
6Getafe218762518731
7Valencia2161142218429
8Real Betis218582526-129
9Real Sociedad217682524127
10Eibar216872630-426
11Ath Bilbao2151152226-426
12Levante217593240-826
13Real Valladolid216781924-525
14Girona215972328-524
15Espanyol2173112334-1124
16Leganés215882026-623
17Celta Vigo2156103336-321
18Rayo Vallecano2055102436-1220
19Villarreal213992129-818
20Huesca2126131739-2212
View full Spanish La Liga table

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