Barcelona took another step towards regaining their La Liga title on Saturday with a thumping 5-0 win over bottom side Mallorca at Camp Nou.
The Catalan giants were in brilliant form with both Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez putting in first-rate performances.
The pair combined magnificently to end the first half with two goals and two assists each, before the former Arsenal man – operating as a false nine in the absence of the injured Lionel Messi – completed his hat-trick soon after the restart.
Real Madrid were also in sizzling form on Saturday, although they had to come from behind before thrashing Levante 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
After a slow start to the game, Levante stunned the home fans as Michel scored on the break to put his side ahead just after the half-hour mark.
The goal appeared to spark a lax Real into action and a spectacular goal from Gonzalo Higuain six minutes later was quickly added to by a Kaka penalty.
Real finally finished things off in the 84th minute as Cristiano Ronaldo slammed in a third before setting up Mesut Oezil for the first of his two late goals.
Barca lead the standings by 13 points with eight games remaining.
In other results, Real Sociedad put some breathing space between themselves and Malaga in the race for fourth place and the Champions League play-off spot with a 4-2 win over Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Three goals in nine first-half minutes from Carlos Vela, Alberto de la Bella and Antoine Griezmann has Sociedad cruising , but Pedro Morales pulled one back for the visitors just before the interval.
The lead was back out to three goals again six minutes into the second half when Inigo Martinez scored, meaning Roque Santa Cruz’s 70th-minute strike was no more than a consolation.
Sociedad are now four points clear of fifth-placed Malaga.
And Deportivo La Coruna gave their survival prospects a boost with a 3-2 home triumph over fellow strugglers Real Zaragoza.
Bruno Gama fired a low shot home in the 11th minute to give the home side the lead at Estadio Riazor, but a Helder Postiga penalty and a Francisco Montanes goal had Zaragoza in front after 35 minutes.
Carlos Marchena levelled for Deportivo five minutes before the interval, and they went in front for good in the 55th minute when the unfortunate Abraham Minero scored an own goal.
The result leaves Deportivo in 18th place, still in the relegation zone but just a point behind Zaragoza.
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