Nine games have finished (Sevilla and Granada meet on Monday), 31 goals have been scored and seven red cards handed out across an action-packed La Liga weekend.
Real Madrid and Barcelona both recorded handsome victories at home but second-placed Atletico slipped up at San Mames against Athletic Bilbao.
In the battle of two of the season's most surprising teams, Rayo Vallecano produced the goods, turning over visiting Real Betis 3-0.
None of the teams at the bottom could muster much among themselves; Athletic's win was the only maximum points gained by any side in the bottom half.
Here is the weekend's best...
Jemez in his playing days at Real Zaragoza
Paco Jemez linked up with Rayo Vallecano in the summer after just missing out on promotion to La Liga with Cordoba.
Replacing Jose Ramon Sandoval, his principles haven't been that different, but they have been slightly more effective.
Rayo sit sixth in the league.
This weekend his team beat Real Betis 3-0. It is the latest notch on an ever-improving CV that will see him linked with many jobs in the summer.
He may have let in three goals as Deportivo la Coruna were beaten by Valencia, but that doesn't tell the whole story.
Thanks to a Riki double, Depor had led until Silvio was sent off, allowing Los Che to exert more and more pressure on Daniel Aranzubia's goal.
And but for Ricardo Costa's late winner, he would have been the hero as time after time he thwarted the visitors' attacks, making nine saves (via WhoScored.com)
Dani Alves has found some form since the turn of the year, and it continued into Barcelona's 5-1 win against Osasuna on Sunday evening.
The Brazilian full-back laid on the assist for Pedro Rodriguez's goal, his fourth assist in three matches over the past eight days.
Perhaps the emergence of Adriano in the first part of the season has forced the 29-year-old to up his game.
With Mallorca pressing hard for an equalizer at 2-1, Nacho Monreal scored a goal on the counterattack that proved the match-winner for Malaga.
Giovani dos Santos pulled one back for the home side, but Manuel Pelegrini's men held out for an impressive 3-2 win to move back into the top four.
Left-back Monreal had earlier set up Isco's goal with a cross from the left to put Malaga 2-0 up.
Ricardo Costa scored a late header against the team that has conceded the most headers in La Liga to give Valencia a hard-fought three points.
The 31-year-old defender put in arguably his best performance this season as Los Che took advantage of first 10-, and then nine-man Deportivo la Coruna.
Four tackles, 11 clearances, 83 percent pass accuracy and a stoppage time winner make impressive reading for the Portuguese defender (via WhoScored.com)
Captain in the absence of Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos put in a performance that was certainly worthy of the armband.
Starting at right-back and then in the second half moving central, the 26-year-old Spain international was dominant in both positions—particularly in the air as he won 100 percent of his aerial duels (via WhoScored.com).
After a goalless first half, it was also Ramos who opened the scoring, tapping in from a corner at the beginning of the second half.
Athletic Bilbao put in their best performance of the season to beat visiting Atletico Madrid 3-0 at "La Catedral" San Mames.
Playing on the right side of the three behind Aritz Aduriz, Markel Susaeta was one of many to shine in a performance casting minds back to the Athletic of last season.
The 25-year-old set up the first—his corner headed home by Mikel San Jose—and scored the second, firing home after good work by Ander Herrera.
Levante are just two points off the Champions League places after beating Real Valladolid 2-1 at home on Saturday evening.
Summer signing from Racing Santander Pape Diop continued his string of dominant performances in the middle of the pitch.
His most recent offering saw him win 100 percent of his battles in the air as well as winning four tackles, making two clearances and even getting forward to have two shots on target (via WhoScored.com).
Another La Liga round of action passes by, another swarm of neutrals become seduced by Rayo Vallecano.
This weekend they beat fellow surprise-package Real Betis 3-0 at their Vallecas home to move on to 34 points, one point off fourth and nine points away from their tally of last season.
Javi Fuego—strongly linked with Valencia—was the pick of a very good bunch, controlling the midfield and breaking up a string of promising Real Betis attacks.
A bit of poetic licence required here as Oscar De Marcos actually played more centrally, although he's played left-back before, so he will fit in nicely on the left side of this week's XI.
De Marcos, 23, wasn't as involved as his colleague Markel Susaeta on the right, but his goal was one of the most memorable of the weekend.
Capping a fine break reminiscent of Athletic at their best under Marcelo Bielsa, the attacking midfielder drilled in his side's third, bidding goodnight to Atletico Madrid in the process.
Cristiano Ronaldo's 20th career hat trick helped Real Madrid overcome Getafe 4-0 at the Bernabeu in Sunday's early match.
The Portuguese forward's treble came in just under ten minutes in the second half after the score was goalless at the break.
It was also a perfect hat trick—one with his left foot, one with his right foot and a header. He now has 21 in La Liga this season.
Lionel Messi scored his 200th goal in La Liga as he helped himself to four in Barcelona's 5-1 win against Osasuna.
He walked the first goal in, the second was a penalty, a one-two with David Villa created the third and Adriano set up him for a simple fourth.
It was the 11th straight league game he'd scored in—another record—and he now has 32 in the race for the Pichichi.
It feels like there have been a lot of good performances this weekend, and there are more players than most weeks who had to be left out.
With the emphatic nature of Real Madrid and Barcelona's winsm they both possessed numerous players who could have featured in this XI.
Espanyol continued their steady form under Javier Aguirre with a point at Real Zaragoza, goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and veteran left-back Joan Capdevila both excelling.
Celta Vigo were held 1-1 at home to Real Sociedad with Michael Krohn-Dehli getting his first goal, while the visitors Carlos Martinez and Gorka Elustondo impressed.
Other players who just missed out include Levante's Jose Barkero, Valladolid's Javier Baraja, Malaga's Weligton and Osasuna's Raoul Loe.