This article is published by Football.com. Please contact Football.scom if you think this content is appropriate and should be removed from this page.
La Liga Wrap: Madrid level with top two, Elche out of bottom three
Jan 18, 2014 7:31 PM EST
Real Madrid cruised to a 5-0 victory at bottom side Real Betis to move level on points with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo thumped in his 31st goal of the season as early as the 10th minute, before Gareth Bale doubled the advantage with a free-kick 15 minutes later.
Karim Benzema put the result beyond doubt in first-half stoppage time - his 100th goal for the club - before further goals in the second period for Angel Di Maria and Alvaro Morata put the gloss on the scoreline.
It was Madrid's seventh straight win in all competitions, and Carlo Ancelotti's side have now racked up five consecutive clean sheets.
The result leaves them level with Barcelona and Atletico at the top of the table on 50 points, with their title rivals taking on Levante and Sevilla respectively on Sunday.
Elche claimed their first win in six league matches and moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 home success over 10-man Rayo Vallecano.
The visitors saw Raul Baena dismissed after just 18 minutes, and Edu Albacar put the home side in front from the resulting penalty.
That lead was doubled 11 minutes from time by Javi Marquez, and Vallecano have now won just once in seven La Liga outings.
Elsewhere, Sergio Garcia's 88th-minute goal earned Espanyol a 1-0 at home over Celta Vigo while the game between Granada and Osasuna finished goalless.