MADRID: Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao and Marco Asensio made strikes as Real Madrid fought back after conceding an early goal to beat Espanyol 3-1 at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Second-placed Real Madrid cut leader Barcelona’s advantage to six points at the La Liga top and maintained their thin chances to defend the title by moving up to 56 points.
Barcelona, however, have a chance to regain nine points lead when they face Atheltic Club on Sunday.
Espanyol, who remain 13th, took the lead early on as Joselu smacked the ball into the top corner past goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois following Ruben Sanchez’s cross in the 8th minute.
Madrid made a forceful response to the poor start as Eduardo Camavinga had a shot on target before Vincus stepped up with his masterful skills to pierce into the box, evading two defenders and firing in the leveller in the 22nd minute.
The 22-year-old registered his 19th goal this season in all competitions and moved ahead of Karim Benzema as the club’s top scorer this season.
Pushed back to their own area, Espanyol had no answer to Militao’s thunderous header through Aurelien Tchouameni’s cross six minutes before halftime.
Madrid kept the pressure on the opponents after the break with Rodrygo nearly scoring on a free kick but the ball deflected off the crossbar.
Asensio wrapped up the win for Madrid in the added time as he produced a superb finish with his left foot after a brilliant sprint from Nacho.
In another La Liga fixture on Saturday, Celta Vigo thrashed Rayo Vallecano 3-0 thanks to Iago Aspas’ brace.
Later, Valencia prevailed at home as they beat Osasuna 1-0.
Earlier Elche held Valladolid to a 1-1 draw through Tete Morente’s leveller deep into the stoppage time.