LONDON (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the eighth successive match as Real Madrid coasted to a 5-0 victory in Mallorca on Sunday night.
The champions' star man may have felt "sad" in the capital at the start of the season but he continues to show his importance to Madrid as he struck twice and set up the second of Gonzalo Higuain's brace.
After joint leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid had both already won this weekend the pressure was on Jose Mourinho's side not to lose further ground in the title race.
Some poor home defending ensured they were quickly on course for victory as Higuain opened the scoring after eight minutes before Ronaldo continued his hot streak with 22 minutes gone.
The Portuguese then set up Higuain on 70 minutes to make the game safe before stabbing home his side's fourth moments later.
Substitute Jose Maria Callejon added further gloss to the scoreline when he tapped home in stoppage time.
Madrid's only moment of concern was a possible hamstring injury to Xabi Alonso, who was quickly substituted with 10 minutes left after pulling up, to join a growing injury list.
After suffering a midweek Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund, and the pressure of their rivals' wins, Madrid arrived at the ONO Estadi in need of full points.
Some careless defending from their hosts early on ensured they were well on their way inside the opening 30 minutes.
Higuain was the beneficiary of Anderson Conceicao's indecision as the defender allowed Angel Di Maria's floated pass to squeeze by before being slammed in by the Madrid striker.
Mallorca were 2-0 down on 22 minutes when a stray pass was again brutally punished. This time it still required the visitors to link an interchange of passes across the top of the area but when it finished with Ronaldo he made no mistake with an angled drive.
Mallorca were offering little threat and, on a rare forward move, former Barca midfielder Giovani dos Santos blasted his shot high from outside the area.
Madrid continued to dominate in the second half and they hardly needed to get out of second gear before making the game safe with two goals in the space of three minutes.
Ronaldo took on the role of creator as he slipped through Higuain who blasted in. The Argentinian then repaid the favour moments later as his quick turn and pass allowed Ronaldo to use his pace to beat the defence and stab in his 11th league goal of the campaign.
Callejon completed the rout in stoppage time with a simple finish after Mesut Ozil's shot had crept across the face of goal.