BARCELONA: Veteran striker Raul Gonzalez scored twice but Real Madrid still lost ground in the Spanish title race after they were held at home 2 by Espanyol on Sunday.
A below-par Madrid went behind from the penalty spot after 21 minutes with Raul Tamudo firing home after he was felled by Gabriel Heinze.
Raul, returning to the side after being rested for the Champions League clash against Zenit St. Petersburg, equalised with a header four minutes later.
On the half-hour, Luis Garcia restored Espanyol’s advantage, scoring from close range after good build up play from Roman Martinez, Tamudo and Ivan de la Pena.
But then Raul was on hand to bring Real back level at the end of the first half.
There were chances for both sides after the break notably for Luis Garcia and Nene for Espanyol, while Real’s Ruud van Nistelrooy also had a shot saved by keeper Carlos Kameni.
The result brought Real’s six-match winning streak to an end and left them in fifth place, three points behind leaders Valencia who beat Valladolid 1-0.
Realcoach Bernd Schuster felt his team missed Dutch star Arjen Robben, who has been struggling with injury and was not brought into the action until late into the game.
“In the first half with Van Nistelrooy, Raul and (Gonzalo) Higuain it was not easy,” said Schuster.