MADRID, Spain -- Real Madrid moved eight points clear in Spain as captain Raul scored his 200th league goal to clinch a 2-1 victory at home to fifth-placed Espanyol on Saturday.
Raul celebrates scoring his 200th league goal in Real Madrid's home victory against Espanyol.
The veteran forward scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute as Real bounced back from the midweek Champions League exit at the hands of Roma.
Second-placed Barcelona can reduce the gap to five points with victory over third-placed Villarreal on Sunday.
Real were beaten at the Bernabeu by Roma on Wednesday, and the home fans were fearing the worst when former Madrid player Valdo put the visitors ahead on 29 minutes with an challenged header from a free-kick.
It was a special moment for Valdo, who started his career at Real after coming through the youth system.
But Gonzalo Higuain, who returned to the side as one of three changes following the Roma reverse, equalized shortly before half-time when he bundled the ball in off his knee after a cross from the also-recalled Marcelo.
It was tough on visiting goalkeeper Idriss Kameni, who had earlier made a superb save to deny Julio Baptista.
But the match was settled in the second spell by Raul, who scored his first goal for Real back in 1994.
The rejuvenated 30-year-old hit the back of the net for the 13th time this season after being tripped by Jarque, with the referee pointing to the spot despite suggestions the foul occurred outside the penalty area.
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas also reached a landmark with his 300th league appearance for Real, having made his debut back in September 1999 as an 18-year-old.
The Spain international started the match in fine style with a diving save to deny Jonathan.
In Saturday's late match, fourth-placed Atletico Madrid failed to join Villarreal on 47 points after losing 2-1 away to Real Zaragoza.
Winger Simao Sabrosa put Atletico ahead in the 26th minute, but Pablo Tebar's own-goal leveled the score on 34 and Diego Milito slotted home a 73rd-minute penalty to clinch victory for Zaragoza. E-mail to a friend