Luis Suarez continued his goal splurge by scoring four times to help Barcelona stay atop the Spanish league on Saturday, while Real Madrid needed a stellar performance from Gareth Bale to remain in the title hunt.
Suarez scored his eighth goal in four days to fuel a 6-0 rout of Sporting Gijon, following another four-goal outing in an 8-0 destruction of Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.
Bale netted two goals, including a late winner, to lead a 3-2 fightback at Rayo Vallecano in a match that Madrid entered without Cristiano Ronaldo and finished without Karim Benzema due to leg injures.
Barcelona stayed level on points with Atletico Madrid after its 1-0 win over Malaga. Madrid remained a point behind in third place with three rounds left.