Real Madrid thrashed Real Betis in La Liga on Saturday, but Barcelona kept top spot with an easy win over Racing Santander.
A hat-trick from Gonzalo Higuain guided Jose Mourinho’s team to a comfortable 4-1 win over their seventh-placed opponents.
The Argentine took his tally to eight goals this season, but Real Madrid were forced to work hard for their win after going into the break at 0-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Higuain opened the scoring 45 seconds after the interval, converting a Cristiano Ronaldo cutback before the Portuguese star found Kaka to make it 2-0 soon after.
Betis pulled a goal back through Jorge Molina, but Higuain struck twice more to ensure there would be no comeback.
Real Madrid remain second despite the win after Barcelona comfortably disposed of Racing Santander 3-0.
A Lionel Messi brace and a Xavi header were enough to give Barcelona a deserved victory.
Messi’s double means he has now scored 10 goals in the first seven league games of this campaign.
In other games, Valencia were dealt a late blow when Tomer Hemed converted an injury time penalty to earn a 1-1 draw for Mallorca.
The opening goal of the game was scored by Valencia’s France international Adil Rami, who scrambled the ball past goalkeeper Dudu Aouate seven minutes before half-time.
But Hemed converted a 93rd-minute spot-kick after Mehmet Topal had handled in the area, salvaging a point for ninth-placed Mallorca.
Elsewhere, Getafe and Villarreal drew 0-0, while eighth-placed Atletico Madrid were forced to settle for a point in their scoreless draw at Granada.