Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th top-flight goal for Real Madrid as the Liga leaders returned to winning ways after ten-man Barcelona had pout the pressure on them by beating Mallorca earlier in the day.
Having had their advantage over Barcelona reduced to six points in the last week following successive 1-1 draws, Madrid were back to their free-scoring best against Real Sociedad, Gonzalo Higuaín setting them on their way.
Ronaldo’s landmark strike, on just his 92nd league appearance for the club, and a lob from Karim Benzema extended the hosts’ lead before the break, with the pair scoring again in the second half as Madrid registered five goals or more in a match for the ninth time this season. Xabi Prieto replied for Sociedad, who remain 14th.
The win restored their six-point cushion over Barcelona, who had earlier won 2-0 at Mallorca. Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a free-kick which evaded everyone, despite Alexis Sánchez’s attempt to apply the finishing touch, although it was not until the latter stages that the points were secured through Gerard Piqué’s opportunist strike.
Josep Guardiola’s team had been down to ten men since Thiago Alcántara was dismissed in the 56th minute for a second booking.
Elsewhere, Pedro Rios, Miku and a Bruno own goal ensured Getafe came from behind to beat third-placed Valencia 3-1.