Goals by Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria, Michael Essien and Luka Modric secured Real Madrid a 4-0 home win against Zaragoza in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Earlier, Barcelona's 3-1 home win over Celta Vigo marked the Catalan club's best start to the league in its 113-year history.

Madrid's win keeps it eight points adrift of leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, which was playing late Saturday away against Valencia.

Higuain pounced on a save that Zaragoza goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez could not hang onto in the 23rd minute.

Two minutes later Di Maria did the same. Essien and Modric scored in the second half.

Malaga suffered just its second loss in 16 games in all competitions when Francisco ''Piti'' Medina scored twice to give Rayo Vallecano a 2-1 win at La Rosaleda Stadium.