A 5-1 victory was good news for Madrid's title hopes, but in refusing to talk to the press coach Jose Mourinho and his players reopened the wounds of their 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Wednesday, a match marred by a rash of late dismissals for the visitors.
Madrid were aggrieved that Sergio Ramos and Mesut Ozil were both sent off at El Madrigal along with Mourinho and fitness coach Rui Faria, while defender Pepe was subsequently handed a two-match ban for comments directed at referee Jose Luis Paradas Romero at the final whistle.
Mourinho and his assistant Aitor Karanka refused to speak to the media after the Villarreal match and cancelled their scheduled press commitments ahead of the Zaragoza match over what they perceive to be victimisation.
Only Madrid club director Emilio Butragueno broke the silence last night [Saturday].
"It was a good choice to say nothing after Villarreal, which was a strange game," he said. "We have said nothing about the referees and we hope that in the nine games left there are no mistakes."
Two goals each from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo set Madrid on their way to a much-needed win last night.
The league leaders had dropped points at home to Malaga before their Villarreal stalemate, but any lingering doubts from those games were extinguished within seven minutes as Gonzalo Higuain swept home to open the scoring.
Ronaldo made it two just after the half-hour as he latched onto Kaka's through ball to calmly notch his 100th Primera Division goal, and Benzema added a third with a wonderful lob over Bravo five minutes before the break.
Xabi Prieto's deflected effort pulled a goal back for the visitors a minute later but Madrid continued to dominate and Benzema and Ronaldo doubled their tallies after the break.
Barcelona's 2-0 win at Mallorca had temporarily cut Madrid's lead to three points before kick-off but, with Mourinho serving a one-match ban and watching from the stands, the leaders offered the perfect response.
"We gave an all-round performance and our three strikers scored," Butragueno added.
"We depend solely on ourselves and we have to be optimistic provided the team continues performing at this level.
"We have overwhelming potential in attack. We also needed the incredible support of the crowd. A key moment of the campaign is about to begin and they were great."