Real Madrid were back to their best as they claimed a comfortable 3-1 win over Levante and gain back some ground in the La Liga title race at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Wednesday.
Levante surprised Real early on with some high-energy attacking play and Giuseppe Rossi was denied by a superb save from Keylor Navas just three minutes in.
However, after the initial shock wore off, the visitors began to look comfortable and slowly started asserting themselves on proceedings.
A flurry of action around the Levante box culminated in Lucas Orban carelessly lunging on Isco and giving away a penalty, which Cristiano Ronaldo converted with consummate ease to give Real a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute.
Just four minutes later, they were two up as an under pressure Diego Marino ended up turning the ball into his own net.
However, it took less than a minute for the home side to get back in the game as, from the restart, Rossi fed the ball in for Deyverson, who fired it into the bottom right corner to make the score 2-1.
The scoreline gave the Los Blancos faithful a few nervy moments when Levante came forward, but Real never really looked in danger of conceding again.
Isco wrapped up the points for the visitors in second half injury after being played in by Ronaldo to give the scoreline a more accurate reflection of the match itself, which finished 3-1.
An Aritz Aduriz hat-trick helped Athletic Bilbao to a confidence boosting 4-1 win over Deportivo La Coruna at Estadion San Mames.
Iker Muniain gave Bilbao the lead in the 13th minute before Aduriz added the second 23 minutes later.
Deportivo pulled one back through Oriol Riera six minutes after half time, but it was all the Aduriz show after that as he added his second two minutes later before completing his hattrick and the rout in the 60th minute.
Elsewhere Celta Vigo and Villarreal played out to a fairly dull draw at Estadio de Balaidos, while an 11th minute Fernando Llorente goal handed Sevilla a 1-0 win over Eibar at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Finally, a Carlos Kameni own goal and Denis Cheryshev’s strike either side of half time helped Valencia recover from an early Duje Cop goal to beat Malaga 2-1 at Estadio La Rosaleda.
La Liga results:
Athletic Bilbao 4 – 1 Deportivo La Coruna
Celta Vigo 0 – 0 Villarreal
Malaga 1 – 2 Valencia
Sevilla 1 – 0 Eibar
Levante 1 – 3 Real Madrid