Bale Rescues Real, Hazard at the Double for Chelsea

Gareth Bale scored twice to inspire a Real Madrid comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Rayo Vallecano and move top of La Liga on Saturday.

Playing without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time in La Liga this season, the Galacticos looked out of sorts when early goals from Adrian Embarba and Miku put Rayo 2-0 in ahead.

But the returning Bale halved the deficit with a powerful header before halftime and then fired home the winner on 81 minutes after Lucas Vazquez had equalised six minutes after the restart.

Real now have a two-point lead over Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who can reclaim the lead when they host Sporting Gijon and Malaga respectively later on Saturday.

In England, Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard broke his year-long Premier League goal drought with a double in Chelsea’s 4-1 win at Bournemouth.

Pedro put the Blues ahead in the fifth minute, drilling in a left-footed shot after being teed up by Cesc Fabregas, before Hazard latched on to a Fabregas back-heel on 34 minutes to double the lead.

Bournemouth then hit back two minutes later through a Tommy Elphick header, but the impressive Willian made it 3-1 with a right-foot shot as Fabregas completed a hat-trick of assists before Hazard completed the rout from close range in stoppage-time.

Also, Newcastle boosted their chances of survival by coming back from 2-0 down to claim a point at in-form Liverpool.

Daniel Sturridge’s goal after 76 seconds and Adam Lallana’s finish put the Reds in control at the break, but Papiss Cisse headed the Magpies back into contention early in the second half before Jack Colback pulled them level with a deflected shot.

Rafa Benitez’s men remain in the bottom three but are now a point behind 17th-placed Norwich.

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