Real Madrid thrashed Getafe, 5-1, away from home to pile the pressure on their La Liga rivals on Saturday as they moved ahead of Atletico Madrid and just one point behind Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Eibar beat Real Sociedad to eliminate any fears of relegation, and Sporting Gijon claimed what could be a valuable point against the in-form Las Palmas.
In Saturday's final match, Celta Vigo gained just one point on Villarreal in fourth place after Real Betis held them to a draw.
Here are all the scores thus far in Week 33, complete with the updated standings and the latest title odds after Real's win:
|La Liga Week 33 Results|
|Las Palmas||1-1||Sporting Gijon|
|Celta Vigo||1-1||Real Betis|
|Latest Title Odds|
|La Liga Table|
|13||Deportivo La Coruna||32||7||16||9||41||47||-6||37|
Los Blancos Close in on Barcelona
Madrid knew a win would put them firmly back in the title race after Barca's recent struggles, and a comprehensive team performance saw five different scorers find the net.
Karim Benzema was the first to find the net just before the half-hour mark, capping Real's excellent start by tucking home James Rodriguez's ball over the top with aplomb. As Squawka Football revealed, the goal was a significant milestone for the striker:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Karim Benzema scores his 22nd league goal of the campaign, now his best ever goalscoring season. https://t.co/NtkxVTi4Ns2016-4-16 14:33:59
Isco doubled their tally before half-time after playing an excellent one-two with the Frenchman and finishing well with the outside of his right foot, and Bale made it three five minutes into the second half when he raced onto Benzema's through ball and picked out the bottom corner.
The Guardian's Sid Lowe noted the comfort with which Los Merengues were winning:
Sid Lowe @sidlowe
RM playing well, totally in control. Getafe are dreadful at the back, mind you.2016-4-16 14:51:16
Pablo Sarabia pulled back a consolation late on for Getafe with a sublime strike from outside the box into the top corner—just their third goal in 12 matches.
Real added two more goals late on to finish the rout, with Rodriguez evading a defender well before side-footing in and Cristiano Ronaldo netting a tap-in, his 31st league goal of the campaign. Football journalist Dermot Corrigan noted the significance of the result for both sides:
Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan
FT Getafe 1-5 Madrid. Seventh straight win for Zidane's side as they keep pressure up on Barca - Getafe look doomed now.2016-4-16 15:49:58
It was looking like a long afternoon for Sporting after Las Palmas took the lead through Pedro Bigas' excellent header just three minutes into their match in Gran Canaria, but Jony replied shortly after the restart to earn them a draw.
As Lowe noted, it may not be enough to save them:
Sid Lowe @sidlowe
FT Las Palmas 1-1 Sporting. Important point for Sporting (although one may not be a huge help; we'll see).2016-4-16 18:07:40
They remain in the bottom three but are now just one point behind Granada, who play Atletico on Sunday.
Eibar came from behind to beat La Real in the Basque derby after David Zurutuza gave the visitors the lead with this stunning effort, per La Liga:
🎥 | Zurutuza looked like he could barely believe it after scoring this stunner for @RealSociedadEN! #EIBvRSO https://t.co/0gxd2WEBul2016-4-16 20:45:35
Sergi Enrich benefited from a huge slice of luck when he saw his header deflect in off Diego Reyes, and he turned into a provider for Gonzalo Escalante to head home the winner. La Liga writer Andrew Gaffney believes the Armeros deserve their place in the league next season:
Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC
It's normal to see such a small squad run out of steam, more so without a winter break, but the first half of the season was near flawless.2016-4-16 20:30:01
Alfred N'Diaye's 24th-minute strike gave Betis the lead at Balaidos before Pablo Hernandez pulled Celta level with 12 minutes of normal time remaining, but the hosts could not grab a late winner to close the gap on Villarreal.
Villarreal face Rayo Vallecano on Sunday and stand an excellent chance of consolidating their UEFA Champions League position—Los Franjirrojos have won just two of their last 10 matches.