Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Real Madrid thumped Espanyol 6-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
The win pulls Los Blancos within four points of La Liga leaders Barcelona and just a point behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, who were defeated by the Catalans on Saturday.
James Rodriguez, Karim Benzema and an Oscar Duarte own goal rounded out the scoring for Real.
The pressure on Valencia boss Gary Neville increased on Sunday after they lost 1-0 at home to Sporting Gijon.
Neville’s winless Primera Division run stretched to eight games despite the hosts being the dominant side for most of the game. They failed to take a string of chances and fell behind to Antonio Sanabria’s penalty on 50 minutes.
They continued to throw everything at their opponents but Alvaro Negredo missed two clear chances to equalise and Los Che suffered a third league defeat under Neville — their first home loss in La Liga since 2014.
Neville’s side stayed 12th in the standings, now 19 points from fourth place, while Sporting moved two points away from the relegation zone.
Kevin Gameiro played a starring role as Sevilla climbed to fifth following a 3-1 win over bottom club Levante.
Sevilla’s unbeaten run goes back to early January, and it showed in their attitude, as a quickfire attack saw them score after just 50 seconds, Gameiro converting from close range after a cross was deflected into his path.
Gameiro turned provider a minute after the half-time, unselfishly cutting back to Vicente Iborra for a simple tap-in, this after Sevilla had put together another quick passing move involving Jose Antonio Reyes.
Levante were given hope in the 55th minute when Giuseppe Rossi’s close-range shot was too good for Rico to stop and the forward continued to threaten the Sevilla goal on occasion.
However, with 15 minutes remaining, Ukraine international Yevhen Konoplyanka swung in a superb right-foot shot from just inside the box which flew into the top corner, putting the game to bed.
Las Palmas moved out of the Primera Division drop zone after a last-minute winner from Willian Jose gave them a precious 2-1 victory over 10-man Celta Vigo.
The midfielder scored with virtually the last kick of the game to give Quique Setien’s side a first league win of 2016.
A controversial penalty scored by Las Palmas midfielder Jonathan Viera had cancelled out Theo Bongonda’s early opener, while Fabian Orellana was sent off in the second half for the Galicians.
Sevilla 3 – 1 Levante
Valencia 0 – 1 Sporting Gijon
Las Palmas 2 – 1 Celta Vigo
Real Madrid 6 – 0 Espanyol