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LA LIGA: Real Hit Espanyol for Six

Real Madrid closed the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona to four points after a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the star of the show, grabbing a hat-trick to ensure that Zinedine Zidane’s men bounced back emphatically from the disappointing draw at Real Betis last week.

The Spanish giants remain perfect at the Bernabeu under new boss, Zidane, and the team has now scored an impressive 16 goals in the three home league matches the Frenchman has overseen.

James Rodriguez and Karim Benzema also found the net on Sunday, while Oscar Duarte added a late own goal to complete a miserable night for the visitors.

Real stay third on the log, four points behind Barcelona, and one behind city rivals, Atletico, who were beaten 2-1 by Barca on Saturday. Barcelona have played one game less than their title rivals.

Elsewhere, Gary Neville’s troubled start to life in La Liga continued as Valencia fell 1-0 to Sporting Gijon at the Mestalla- a result which leaves Neville without a league win in his eight matches as Valencia boss.

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