Valencia CF cruised to a 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday to remain level on points with Real Madrid CF at the top of the Primera División.
Madrid's victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday put the pressure on Valencia, but goals from Rubén Baraja, Kily Gonzalez, Miguel Angulo and substitute Mista put Rafael Benítez's side back alongside the leaders with five games remaining.
Despite the absence from their starting line-up of strikers Juan Sánchez and John Carew, Valencia got off to a flying start through Baraja's 12th-minute opener from eleven metres out after Gonzalez had pulled the ball back. Gonzalez himself scored the second just before the half-hour mark, leaving goalkeeper Sander Westerveld stranded.
Angulo on target
Angulo made it 3-0 ten minutes after half-time as he latched on to Francisco Rufete's speculative through pass and crashed the ball home. Mista's searing late finish from the edge of the box completed the scoring.
Celta lose ground
Elsewhere RC Celta de Vigo lost ground in the race for European places after going down 2-0 to RCD Espanyol, for whom Francisco Palencia and Raúl Tamudo were on target. Meanwhile, Real Betis Balompié's goalless draw at home to Club Atlético Osasuna saw them slip to sixth.
Alavés edge win
In the day's other games Deportivo Alavés edged past Villarreal CF by the odd goal in three thanks to a Carlos Lloréns free-kick and a close-range effort from Fabricio Coloccini either side of Javier Calleja's 43rd-minute drive for the visitors.
Real Valladolid drew 1-1 at home to Sevilla FC after Fernando Fernández's penalty for the hosts cancelled out Mariano Toedtli's 30-metre opener. Málaga CF's 2-0 victory over CD Tenerife came courtesy of a header from Portuguese defender Litos and, after Tenerife's Esteban Fuertes was sent off for two bookable offences in the space of four minutes, Ivan Leko's late goal.
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