Real Madrid and Barcelona sit three points clear at the top of La Liga following routine victories against Las Palmas and Getafe respectively on Saturday.
Following Atletico Madrid’s draw with Deportivo La Coruna on Friday, Madrid and Barca took their chance to apply pressure at the top with the latter easing to a 3-1 success at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo gave the hosts a two-goal cushion 15 minutes in before Hernan reduced the arrears. Jese Rodriguez completed the scoring before half-time with Barca joining them on 24 points later in the day.
Following defeats on the road to Sevilla and Celta Vigo, Barca were seeking to avoid losing a third away game on the spin in the league for the first time since 2002.
And Sergi Roberto proved crucial as the midfielder supplied the assists for Luis Suarez and Neymar in Madrid – ensuring Luis Enrique’s men continue to pick up points in Lionel Messi’s injury-enforced absence.
Fellow high-flyers Villarreal briefly went fourth after they beat Sevilla prior to Celta Vigo’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Real Sociedad.
Sevilla were in fine form ahead of their trip to El Madrigal but goals from Mario and Cedric Bakambu put the hosts in control prior to Fernando Llorente’s consolation 14 minutes from time.
That put Villarreal in the top four ahead of Celta’s trip to the Anoeta, which saw the visitors twice fall behind before fighting back to earn a victory.
Iago Aspas twice cancelled out Imanol Agirretxe before Pablo Hernandez scored a minute from time to send Celta back third.
In the local derby at the Mestalla, Valencia ran out comfortable 3-0 winners against rock-bottom Levante courtesy of goals from Paco Alcacer, Sofiane Feghouli and Zakaria Bakkali.