Real Madrid sent out a message of intent to all-conquering champions Barcelona with a 6-0 demolition of Real Zaragoza on Saturday.
While Barcelona were away in Abu Dhabi winning the FIFA Club World Cup, their sixth trophy this year, Real closed the gap at the top of La Liga to just two points after tearing apart sorry Zaragoza. It was always going to be a tough challenge for Zaragoza's caretaker coach Jose Gay who took charge this week and it quickly turned into a nightmare with Gonzalo Higuain scoring after just three minutes.
A double for Rafael Van der Vaart then followed and Higuain volleyed in a delightful shot still before half time. Cristiano Ronaldo, returning after a one match suspension, teased the Zaragoza defence before adding the fifth and substitute Karim Benzema wrapped up the scoring with 20 minutes to go against the side which has conceded most goals in the Spanish top flight.
Sevilla's disappointing home form cost them further points as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat by Getafe. A brace from Roberto Soldado led the visitors to victory and it means that Sevilla have now failed to win in three attempts at the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Soldado slipped the ball through the keeper's legs to give Getafe the lead after 12 minutes and then later capitalised on a defensive mix-up to score into an empty net. Substitute Alvaro Negredo reduced the deficit at the start of the second half and despite Sevilla battling hard in the final stages for an equaliser, Getafe hung on.
"We cannot afford to lose so many points at home and we need to become more solid in defence. We lost our concentration too often and we made it was too easy for Getafe," said Sevilla coach Manolo Jimenez whose side are nine points behind Barcelona.
Athletic Bilbao had a comfortable 2-0 win over Osasuna thanks to early goals from Fran Yeste and Fernando Llorente. A below strength Osasuna side were a goal down after just a minute when Yeste knocked the ball home from close range after being set up by Llorente.
Osasuna offered little in response and it was Llorente himself who added a second after 12 minutes with clinical drive from the edge of the area. Athletic took their foot off the pedal in the second half and eased to a victory which puts them up to sixth place in the table.