La Liga round-up: Real bounce back

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Espanyol logo
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Real Madrid

Guti 70

Raúl 72

Real Madrid recovered from their Champions League humbling to move within four points of La Liga leaders Barcelona following a 2-0 win over Espanyol at Lluis Companys Stadium.

The Spanish giants had won nine league matches in a row before this one, but disappointingly lost at home to Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday.

Espanyol shocked Barcelona last week, but there was to be no repeat from the Catalans this time.

Mauricio Pochettino's men were the better team offensively in the first period and had the best first half chance in the sixth minute when Román Martínez flicked on Luis García's cross, but Iker Casillas got his hands up quickly to deny the effort.

Real improved after the break as they began to play higher up in the Espanyol half.

And Guti, who replaced Wesley Sneijder in the 59th minute, fired them in front with a curled left-footed free-kick from the edge of the box on 67 minutes.

The contest was settled just moments later when veteran striker Raúl stroked home his 14th goal of the season from nearly the identical spot at the edge of the area.

In Saturday's late match, Sevilla came from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at San Mames.

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