Match ends, Real Madrid 5, Rayo Vallecano 1.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the 10th straight league game and Gareth Bale found the net on his return from injury as Real Madrid crushed Rayo Vallecano to restore their two-point league lead.
Bale opened the scoring when he turned in a low cross from Toni Kroos.
Sergio Ramos made it 2-0 from a corner but Alberto Bueno pulled one back after a James Rodriguez mistake.
Kroos scored from 25 yards and Karim Benzema tapped in before Ronaldo scored a breakaway goal to complete the rout.
The Portuguese star now has a staggering 23 goals in all competitions this season, including 18 in 10 league appearances.
Real had briefly been deposed as league leaders by Barcelona on Saturday, but responded in typical style.
|Real have scored at least five goals in five of their last eight league matches|
|The European champions are averaging four goals per game in their last 13|
Bale, preferred to Isco in the starting line-up after recovering from a muscle injury, took only nine minutes to get on the scoresheet.
Ronaldo fed Kroos down the left and the German's low cross left Bale with a simple tap-in.
Benzema headed against the bar from a corner, but Real extended their lead from the next set-piece as Ramos stuck out a thigh to loop the ball past Cristian Alvarez.
On the stroke of half-time, James Rodriguez handed the visitors a life-line as he inexplicably gifted the ball to Leo Baptistao.
Rayo's top-scorer calmly passed to Alberto Bueno, who rounded goalkeeper Keylor Navas and slotted home.
Any danger to Real's supremacy was snuffed out in the space of four second-half minutes. Ronaldo set up Kroos to curl a fine low shot into the corner, and Benzema tapped in the Portuguese's cross, albeit from an offside position.
Ronaldo's inevitable goal arrived seven minutes from time as he burst onto Isco's through-ball, cut inside and released a shot, which squirmed under Alvarez's body.
- 11BaleSubstituted forHernándezat 84'minutes
- 10RodríguezSubstituted forIscoat 68'minutes
- 9BenzemaSubstituted forMedránat 84'minutes
- 7Cristiano Ronaldo
- 2Román TrigueroBooked at 56mins
- 18Rosa Vale Castro
- 14InsúaSubstituted forMarín Ruizat 25'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 6FatauBooked at 45mins
- 10TrashorrasSubstituted forSánchez Ruizat 62'minutes
- 22Pereira CarneiroBooked at 79mins
- 19BaptistaoSubstituted forContreiras Gonçalvesat 72'minutes
- 9Contreiras Gonçalves
- 17Marín Ruiz
- 21Sánchez Ruiz
- 24Pozuelo Melero
- Pedro Jesús Pérez Montero
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Real Madrid 5, Rayo Vallecano 1.
Quini (Rayo Vallecano) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Quini (Rayo Vallecano).
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Alberto Bueno (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Luka Modric (Real Madrid).
Tito (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Álvaro Medrán (Real Madrid).
Attempt saved. Álvaro Medrán (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Attempt missed. Manucho (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jozabed.
Jozabed (Rayo Vallecano) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Javier Hernández (Real Madrid).
Offside, Real Madrid. Álvaro Medrán tries a through ball, but Isco is caught offside.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Javier Hernández replaces Gareth Bale.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Álvaro Medrán replaces Karim Benzema.
Goal! Real Madrid 5, Rayo Vallecano 1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Isco following a fast break.
Hand ball by Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).
Foul by Gaël Kakuta (Rayo Vallecano).
Luka Modric (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.