David Villa's hot streak in front of goal continued with two goals as Valencia returned to the top of the Spanish first division after a 4-2 home win over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Valencia, league champions in 2002 and 2004, knocked Villarreal off the summit on goal difference as they continued their unbeaten start to the season under new coach Unai Emery.
"We are getting over the problems of last season [when they finished 10th] and today we showed what we are capable of," Emery said.
"It is nice to be top but what we are concerned with is consistency and growing as a team. We don't know our limits because it is early on in the season."
An own goal from Italian defender Emiliano Moretti after 11 minutes saw Valencia fall behind but the home side responded with Juan Mata leveling and Spanish star Villa put them ahead four minutes into the second half.
Winger Joaquin made it 3-1 before Villa got a tap-in for a league-high six goals in only five games.
Portuguese side CS Maritimo are Valencia's next opponents on Thursday in the UEFA Cup with the Spaniards holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg.
While Emery has enjoyed a great start with Valencia (four wins and a draw in his first five matches) Racing Santander's new manager Juan Ramon Muniz is finding it tough going.
Muniz watched his side lose 2-1 at home to Real Mallorca, plunging the club into the bottom three without a win to their name.
"We lost because of the mistakes we made not because of one by the referee," Muniz said.
Cameroon striker Pierre Webo struck four minutes from time to sink Racing, who had taken the lead through Ivan Marcano before Fernando Varela equalised for the visitors.
It was a sweet win for Mallorca, who lost out on the final UEFA Cup spot to Racing on the final day of last season. They moved into ninth place while Racing lie second from bottom with two points from a possible 15.
Last season under Marcelino Garcia Racing were vying for a Champions League spot before finishing sixth to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the first time in their history.
But Marcelino walked out on the club and Muniz is struggling to fill his shoes still waiting for his first league win in charge.
Newcomers Malaga, who Muniz led to promotion last season, recorded their first win of the campaign with a 2-1 over Valladolid.
After four games without finding the net, Manuel Lolo scored Malaga's first goal of the season in the 33rd minute. The decisive second goal came on 54 minutes through Adrian Lopez.
Almeria temporarily went up to fifth in the standings with Argentine Alvaro Negredo scoring the winning goal five minutes into stoppage time to down nine-men Recreativo Huelva.
Draw specialists Osasuna were at it again with a 0-0 stalemate against promoted Numancia, their fourth draw in five games.
In Sunday's late match, two potential title challengers come face to face at the Vicente Calderon when Atletico Madrid played host to Sevilla.