Luis Suarez put in a stunning performance as Barcelona returned to form in sensational fashion with an 8-0 thumping of Deportivo La Coruna that maintained their place at La Liga’s summit.
Luis Enrique’s defending champions had taken one point from their past four league matches – including three straight defeats – prior to Wednesday’s demolition job at the Riazor.
Suarez was undoubtedly the star, scoring twice in each half, with Ivan Rakitic providing another having been set up by the Uruguayan.
And the former Liverpool striker then teed up strike partners Lionel Messi and Neymar, either side of Marc Bartra’s fine solo effort, as Barca went some way to correcting their earlier wobbles.
That victory meant Atletico Madrid and city rivals Real had to respond, and they were up to the task.
Fernando Torres scored for the fifth game in succession as Atletico won 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao, before Real triumphed 3-0 at home to Villarreal.
However, the sight of Cristiano Ronaldo walking off with an apparent hamstring injury in stoppage time will be of some concern to Zinedine Zidane’s men.
At the opposite end of the table, Sporting Gijon hauled themselves out of the bottom three as Isma Lopez’s stoppage-time goal sealed a 2-1 victory over Sevilla.
Sporting are now two points clear of danger, three behind Rayo Vallecano, who drew 1-1 at Malaga after conceding an injury-time equaliser. Elsewhere, Paco Alcacer’s hat-trick helped Valencia to a 4-0 drubbing of Eibar.