Cristiano Ronaldo hit a brilliant hat-trick as Real Madrid came from behind to thump Deportivo La Coruna 5-1 at the Bernabeu.
Deportivo striker Riki gave the visitors a shock early lead, but Madrid swiftly levelled, Ronaldo slamming home a penalty after Angel Di Maria was felled in the box.
Two goals before half-time put the reigning La Liga champions in total control. Di Maria edged Jose Mourinho's side in front, before Ronaldo headed home from close range just before the interval.
Ronaldo's Portuguese compatriot Pepe nodded in Madrid's fourth half an hour from time, and Ronaldo completed his treble with another penalty after Evaldo was penalised for handling Kaka's cross.
The win lifts Real Madrid up to sixth, but Jose Mourinho's side still lie eight points behind Barcelona.
They can cut that lead to five points in next week's El Clasico. The pair square off at the Nou Camp, with Barcelona looking to continue their 100% record so far this season.
New Barca boss Tito Vilanova won all six of his La Liga matches this year, scoring 17 and conceding just five.
In contrast, Madrid have endured a stuttering start to the new campaign, winning just three of their first six matches. But Ronaldo has started in fine form, matching Messi's goalscoring pace thus far - both superstars already have six league goals - but both trial Atletico Madrid striker Falcao who has seven.
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