A roundup of Saturday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights…
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Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol
For the first time since November, Gareth Bale appeared in a match for Real Madrid. The Welsh attacker didn’t disappoint either as Bale scored to help secure Real’s victory over Espanyol on Saturday. Alvaro Morata gave the hosts the lead in the first half with a headed finish at the Santiago Bernabeu before Bale doubled the advantage in the 83rd minute. Real currently holds a four-point advantage over Barcelona at the summit of La Liga and has a game in hand.
Sporting Gijon 1-4 Atletico Madrid
Kevin Gameiro netted a hat-trick in five minutes to help solidify Atletico’s standing in the top four. The second-half substitute scored in the 80th, 81st and 85th minutes on Saturday after both sides traded goals in the early portion of the second stanza. Yannick Carrasco put the visitors in front just one minute into the second half before Sergio Álvarez equalized for Sporting Gijon in the 49th minute. The loss for Gijon leaves the club in the bottom three.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Sevilla 2-0 Eibar
Deportivo La Coruna 0-1 Alaves
Sunday’s La Liga schedule
Real Sociedad vs. Villareal (6 a.m. ET)
Valencia vs. Athletic Bilbao (10 a.m. ET)
Celta Vigo vs. Osasuna (12:30 a.m. ET)
Barcelona vs. Leganes (2:45 p.m. ET)
Empoli 1-2 Lazio
While the first half lacked excitement, the second stanza was anything but boring as the two sides came to life. Rade Krunic gave the hosts the lead in the 67th minute, but Empoli’s lead was short lived as Ciro Immobile leveled the scoreline at 1-1 just a minute later. An Andrea Costa own goal in the 80th minute sealed the points for Lazio, who tentatively move into fifth place.
Atalanta 1-0 Crotone
Atalanta continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the Serie A season as the club picked up a narrow victory on Saturday over 19th place Crotone. Andrea Conti gave Atalanta the lead in the early portion of the second half to move the team into fourth place, ahead of Inter Milan.
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Bologna vs. Inter Milan (6:30 a.m. ET)
Chievo vs. Napoli (9 a.m. ET)
Sampdoria vs. Cagliari (9 a.m. ET)
Udinese vs. Sassuolo (9 a.m. ET)
Pescara vs. Genoa (9 a.m. ET)
Roma vs. Torino (9 a.m. ET)
AC Milan vs. Fiorentina (2:45 p.m. ET)