Cristiano Ronaldo scored a double to lead Real Madrid to a 4-1 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday as the Spanish giants stayed seven points behind league leader Barcelona.
Jose Mourinho’s team had to win after its fierce rivals opened up a 10-point gap through their league-record 16th straight win on Saturday.
Madrid responded to the challenge with a convincing performance to stay perfect in 11 games at Santiago Bernabeu stadium this season.
“We know our margin of error is limited,” said Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, who started his career with Sociedad. “The important thing is the victory and to keep earning points.”
Kaka opened the scoring in the eighth minute, placing a left-footed shot into the far corner after Sociedad midfielder Gorka Elustondo had erred in clearing a cross and the ball fell to the Brazil playmaker in the area.
Ronaldo blasted in the second in the 21st, feinting with his right, before crossing to his left and firing in from outside the area and ending his four-game scoring drought.
The Portugal forward then headed home a corner by Mesut Oezil in the 42nd, and Emmanuel Adebayor capped the win in the 89th with his first league goal since joining Madrid on loan from Manchester City.
Real Sociedad got its consolation goal when a shot by Raul Tamudo was blocked by goalkeeper Iker Casillas but rebounded off Alvaro Arbeloa and into the net in the 72nd.
Casillas played his part in Madrid’s victory by twice denying Tamudo from point-blank range in the first half.
Mourinho said he was focusing on his own team’s performance, rather than catching Barcelona.