Cristiano Ronaldo scored four to go ahead of Lionel Messi in the Primera Division scoring charts as Real Madrid dismantled a woeful Sevilla side 6-2.
Madrid were 3-0 up by half-time through goals from Sergio Ramos, Ronaldo and Kaka, before Alvaro Negredo pulled one back in the 61st minute. Ronaldo responded, netting again in the 65th, 70th and 75th minutes, with Negredo netting his second six minutes from time.
The result leaves Real five points behind Barcelona having played a game more than their great rivals.
Roberto Soldado scored twice as Valencia returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win at home to Real Sociedad in the Primera Division.
Unai Emery's side had lost their last two matches and started the day just three points ahead of fourth-placed Villarreal, but they had this match wrapped up by half-time. Soldado, having scored seven goals in the last five games, continued his red-hot form with two more in this game, either side of Jonas Goncalves' strike after 25 minutes.
Atletico Madrid's lacklustre season continued with a comprehensive 3-0 defeat by in-form Malaga.
Quique Sanchez Flores' side are attempting to salvage Europa League football from the embers of a hugely disappointing season but those ambitions were dented by Malaga's fourth successive Primera Division victory. The Andalucians' comfortable win was brought about by Jose Salomon Rondon and Julio Baptista's headers in the first half before Enzo Maresca's late third added the gloss.
Athletic Bilbao survived a late fightback from Levante to pick up three more crucial points in their hunt for a European place with a 3-2 win.
The Basque club looked to be cruising to victory after goals from Gaizka Toquero, David Lopez (penalty) and Fernando Llorente put them 3-0 up just after the hour, but Levante netted twice in the final 13 minutes through Christian Stuani and Victoriano Nano to put the game back in the balance.
Getafe boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop whilst consigning bottom club Almeria to relegation with a vital 2-0 win at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Getafe, who finished sixth last season, fell into the bottom three for the first time this campaign after losing 2-1 at Villarreal last weekend but they climbed back out thanks to goals in either half from Adrian Colunga and Pedro Rios.
Giovani dos Santos scored twice as Racing Santander took a giant step towards Primera Division survival with a hard-fought 3-2 win at second-bottom Hercules. All five goals came in a frantic first 45 minutes of a hugely entertaining match, with Hercules' Paraguay forward Nelson Haedo Valdez sent off after an hour for an alleged elbow on Domingo Cisma.
Giovani had headed Racing in front after 13 minutes and later restored his side's lead moments after Sendoa Agirre's leveller with half-time approaching. But there was still time for two more goals before the break as Tiago Gomes equalised with a deflected strike to make it 2-2 and Henrique headed home in first-half stoppage time
A stoppage time equaliser from Sporting Gijon leaves Deportivo languishing towards the bottom of the Primera Division and keeps them embroiled in the fight for survival after a 2-2 draw.