Real Madrid responded to Barcelona's rout with one of their own as they thrashed Deportivo La Coruna 6-2 to the close the gap at the top of La Liga.
Lucas Vazquez, Alvaro Morata and Marco Asensio all impressed at BBC's expense in a fantastically-fluid Madrid performance as James Rodriguez and Isco showed they could coexist in Los Blancos' midfield.
Madrid adopted a 4-1-4-1 formation at Riazor, with Marcelo their only regular starter and Cristiano Ronaldo cut completely, although Raphael Varane returned to central defence after almost a month out.
Less than a minute in, Morata latched onto a through ball after Depor lost possession near their own box, before smashing an angled strike into the roof of German Lux’s net.
Isco then picked his spot from 25 yards out, but his curler clipped the Argentine’s right-hand post!
Nonetheless, Los Merengues gave a masterclass in how to counterattack as Lucas drilled in hard and low for James to finish off from a couple of yards out.
Madrid had a goal wrongly adjudged offside, when Marcelo was bang level with the Depor defensive line before he teed up a teammate.
The left-back suddenly had to clear a Galician shot off the line, although it wouldn't have counted as Carles Gil was offside.
Back in the Depor box, Lux’s awful backpass was snuffed out by Asensio, who quickly laid off Lucas in the box, but the winger’s point-blank finish – while going through the goalkeeper’s legs – was deflected wide.
Morata had to score after he was set up for a one-on-one with Lux by Lucas, but his shot from a yard out was somehow kept out.
Depor went some way towards punishing Madrid’s profligacy as Gael Kakuta tricked the visitors’ defenders with a low cross for Florin Andone, who side-footed into the roof of Kiko Casilla’s net.
The momentum seemed to have swung in the Galicians’ favour, with Casilla forced to tip Gil's curling shot around the post. However, the custodian’s poor punch only went as far as Andone, whose deflection whistlesd inches wide of an empty net.
From that, Madrid suckerpunched Depor on the stroke of half-time. Isco survived two challenges before finding Marcelo, whose low cross was bundled home by Lucas.
Depor made two changes for the second half, one of them being goalkeeper Lux, who was replaced by Poland’s Przemyslaw Tyton.
That only served to help Madrid as Asensio ran from the halfway line and cut right through the Depor defence, before putting the fourth goal on a plate for Lucas. However, the winger stabbed wide from a couple of yards out.
Morata was far more accomplished when he sprung the home side’s offside trap and rounded Tyton, before teeing up James for an easy shot.
Not long after former madridista Joselu had a cracking volley from 20 yards out adjudged marginally offside, Isco finished off a low cross first time for 5-1.
Joselu did get his third of the season against Madrid, when he pulled off his marker and glanced a header past Casilla, but Casemiro followed up with a daisy-cutter that Tyton could only help into his own net.
Mariano Diaz came on for the final 10 minutes, but the young attacker failed to round Tyton and was wrongly flagged offside in the build-up to a seventh Madrid goal.
Deportivo La Coruna 2-6 Real Madrid
Andone 35, Joselu 84 (D) Morata 1, James 14, 66, Lucas 44, Isco 77, Casemiro 87 (RM)
Deportivo La Coruna: Lux (Tyton 46); Juanfran Moreno, Arribas, Sidnei, Luisinho; Bergantinos, Guilherme; Gil (Joselu 57), Emre, Kakuta (Fernando 46); Andone
Real Madrid: Casilla; Danilo, Varane (Tejero 88), Nacho, Marcelo; Kovacic; Lucas, Isco (Casemiro 79), James, Asensio (Mariano 79); Morata
Referee: Sanchez Martinez