Match ends, Real Madrid 5, Rayo Vallecano 0.
Wales forward Gareth Bale scored twice as Real Madrid ended a run of two successive defeats with an emphatic victory over Rayo Vallecano.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring with a cool finish from Bale's pass for his 44th goal of the season.
Right-back Dani Carvajal side-footed in a second from Ronaldo's lay-off before £85m summer signing Bale tapped in.
The former Spurs player scored a fine solo effort soon after, before Alvaro Morata curled in a stunning fifth.
Carlo Ancelotti's side move onto 73 points but remain third, two points behind Barcelona and three adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.
Perhaps conscious of the fact their title rivals had both won earlier on Saturday, Real started at a high tempo as they looked to grab an early goal.
Karim Benzema forced Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Ruben into a decent save from six yards, before Fabio Coentrao saw his inviting cross stabbed away by visiting midfielder Roberto Trashorras.
And given Real's blistering start, it was little surprise when they took the lead with 15 minutes on the clock.
Ronaldo sliced through the Vallecano defence to latch onto a Bale through-ball and the Portuguese forward placed a low shot beyond Ruben.
The visitors were struggling to make a telling impact and had only once chance of note before the interval, with Jose Carlos flashing an effort well wide.
And any hope they had of mustering a fightback in the second half was ended when Bale scored twice in quick succession.
His first was a simple tap-in following Angel Di Maria's cross, but his second was one of real quality as he sprinted towards the Vallecano box from his own area and beat a defender before rifling home a low shot beyond Ruben.
Though victory was assured, Real continued to attack as they looked to add gloss to an already dominant scoreline.
Ronaldo looked certain to score again when he raced into the area but took one touch too many, allowing the visitors to clear.
A fifth duly arrived, though, when Morata found space on the edge of the area and curled a superb shot into the far corner.
- 15CarvajalBooked at 63mins
- 5da Silva Coentrão
- 24IllarramendiSubstituted forIscoat 62'minutes
- 22Di MaríaSubstituted forCasemiroat 70'minutes
- 9BenzemaSubstituted forMorataat 73'minutes
- 7Cristiano Ronaldo
- 18Rosa Vale Castro
- 40López Menéndez
- 16RochinaSubstituted forFernández Vázquezat 25'minutes
- 20LarriveySubstituted forLongoat 70'minutes
- 23BuenoSubstituted forViera Ramosat 59'minutes
- 3Martínez García
- 9Fernández Vázquez
- 19Viera Ramos
- Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Real Madrid 5, Rayo Vallecano 0.
Attempt missed. Iago Falqué (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Roberto Trashorras.
Attempt missed. Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Foul by Razvan Rat (Rayo Vallecano).
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso tries a through ball, but Fábio Coentrão is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Isco with a cross following a set piece situation.
Foul by Saúl Ñíguez (Rayo Vallecano).
Isco (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Isco with a through ball following a set piece situation.
Foul by Jonathan Viera (Rayo Vallecano).
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Pepe (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt missed. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Borja López.
José Carlos went off injured after Rayo Vallecano had used all subs.
Attempt blocked. Saúl Ñíguez (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
José Carlos (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Fábio Coentrão (Real Madrid).