Real wins Madrid derby while Wu Lei plays his part in Espanyol fightback
CGTN

Real Madrid claimed their fifth successive league triumph and back into the Spanish La Liga title race with a 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in a feisty derby at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday.

Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale's strikes inflicted Atletico's first home defeat of the season across all competitions and moved the European champions up to second, within five points of leaders Barcelona.

Casemiro opened the scoring for Real Madrid in the 16th minute with an overhead kick after being teed up by Sergio Ramos' header although Antoine Griezmann leveled nine minutes later after being put through Angel Correa, who Real claimed had started the move with a foul on Vinicius Jr.

There was further controversy in the penalty which put Real Madrid back in front with referee Estrada Fernandez using the VAR to decide Jose Gimenez had brought Vinicius down inside the penalty area, before Sergio Ramos scored from the penalty spot.

Gareth Bale (R) of Real Madrid celebrates with his teammate Luka Modric (L) after scoring a goal during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain, February 9, 2019. /VCG Photo 

Gareth Bale (R) of Real Madrid celebrates with his teammate Luka Modric (L) after scoring a goal during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain, February 9, 2019. /VCG Photo 

The referee also used the VAR to rule out Alvaro Morata's 54th minute "goal" for offside, before Gareth Bale sealed the win for Real with 15 minutes remaining.

"La Liga is there to fight for, there are a lot of points to win and any team can make your life hard," Real captain Ramos said.

"Winning the league motivates us, it's a really balanced competition and we have to keep fighting for it and making life difficult for Barcelona," Ramos added.

Elsewhere, Chinese forward Wu Lei played a big part as Espanyol came back from a goal down to beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in dramatic finish to a key relegation battle.

(With input from Xinhua and Reuters)