Cristiano Ronaldo fired an ominous warning to former club Manchester United with a hat-trick as Real Madrid warmed up for their Champions League showdown against the Red Devils with a one-sided 4-1 victory over Sevilla at the Bernabeu.
Matches against Sevilla have proved rich pickings for Ronaldo and it was no different tonight as he followed up Karim Benzema's 18th-minute opener with goals in the 26th, 46th and 59th minutes as Madrid sauntered to victory .
That took his tally of hat-tricks for the Spanish giants to an incredible 20 before he was replaced in the 63rd minute as Jose Mourinho opted to wrap his trump card in cotton wool ahead of Wednesday's visit of United in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 clash.
Soon after Ronaldo's departure Madrid were reduced to 10 men when striker Gonzalo Higuain was sent off but Sevilla also finished with a men less after losing Hedwiges Maduro to a red card with nine minutes left.
Sevilla did net a late consolation through Manu del Moral but it mattered little as Mourinho's men, who surprisingly lost to Granada last week, trimmed the gap to leaders Barcelona back to 13 points and to second placed Atletico Madrid to four points - they both play on Sunday.
Isco scored twice as Malaga moved back into fourth place on the back of a 2-1 victory at fellow European hopefuls Levante.
Malaga were looking to avenge last season's 3-0 reverse at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia but the plan went off the rails when Jose Barkero put the home side in front with a 27th-minute penalty.
Isco restored parity through a spot-kick in the 37th minute and then sealed the points with a neat finish just after the restart.
A last-gasp goal by substitute Nelson Valdez allowed Valencia to take all three points in a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo at Balaidos.
The result is the perfect springboard for Ernesto Valverde's side ahead of their Champions League match with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday but it means that the Galicians are condemned to spending another week in the relegation zone.
Although the goal came late, Valencia were worthy winners of the game overall as they created the greater number of chances and had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside early in the second half. However, Celta will still be ruing their luck at having missed three clear chances to score before conceding so late on.
An injury-time equaliser by Pedro Geromel gave Mallorca a vital point in a 1-1 draw with Osasuna at the Iberostar stadium.
Lolo had given the visitors the lead with 15 minutes remaining in the game and looked to have handed Gregorio Manzano the worst possible start to his third spell in charge of the club.
Manzano was named as the club's new coach last week following the sacking of Joaquin Caparros and was given a lukewarm reception by the home crowd.
Bottom side Deportivo La Coruna sank into further misery after a demoralising 3-0 defeat at home to Granada.
An own goal by Carlos Marchena in the final minute of the first half gave the visitors the lead, with Ighalo doubling their advantage shortly after the interval.
Depor then missed a number of chances to get themselves back into the game and their night was summed up when they conceded a dubious penalty in the last minute and saw Manuel Pablo sent off, with Guilherme Siqueira converting from the spot.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report