Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday, despite playing most of the second-half with 10 men, to move four points clear at the top of La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo was restored to the starting line-up after being rested in a 2-0 Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid in midweek and he set up James Rodriguez to open the scoring 12 minutes in.
Gareth Bale then doubled the hosts' advantage with a sumptuous free-kick, but their route to a comfortable three points was complicated when Fabio Coentrao was sent-off eight minutes into the second period.
Espanyol, though, failed to make their man advantage count as Nacho added a third 14 minutes from time to put the pressure on Madrid's title rivals Barcelona and Atletico, who face each other at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
"The sending-off was an incomprehensible decision," complained Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
"It made the game more complicated for us, but thankfully the team was in a good state mentally."
Elsewhere, Valencia had to settle for a point at Celta Vigo as Fabian Orellana redeemed himself with the Galicians' first goal in eight league games to secure a point after seeing a first-half penalty saved by Diego Alves.
Rodrigo had given the visitors the lead just before half-time. The draw moves Los Che two points clear of Sevilla in fourth, but the Andalusians have two games in hand on Nuno Espirito Santo's men.
European hopefuls Malaga and Villarreal remain in seventh and sixth respectively after a 1-1 draw at La Rosaleda.
Nordim Amrabat salvaged a point for the hosts after Jonathan dos Santos's opener for Villarreal.