Real Madrid took out their pent-up Primera Division frustrations on sorry Valencia with a stunning first-half display en route to a comprehensive 5-0 victory at the Mestalla.
Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring early on and then Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria helped themselves to braces during a devastating 11-minute spell just before half-time as Madrid, who beat the same opponents in the Copa del Rey in midweek, ran amok.
Valencia battled back after the break and had a number of chances to pull a goal back but Madrid's defense, with Iker Casillas selected ahead of Antonio Adan in goal, held firm to complete a great night for Jose Mourinho's men, who moved back to within 15 points of leaders Barcelona.
Madrid and Mourinho have found themselves under increasing pressure, with their title defense already looking in tatters by the midway stage of the season.
However, the capital club, no doubt buoyed by Barca's surprise defeat to Real Sociedad last night, answered...