Cristiano Ronaldo extended his scoring streak to 12 straight games before setting up another goal to help Real Madrid ease to a 4-0 win at Granada and take the provisional lead of the Spanish league on Saturday.
Colombia forward James Rodriguez had his best game since joining Madrid this summer with a pair of goals, while Karim Benzema also scored from Ronaldo’s pass after setting up the Portugal star’s second-minute opener.
Madrid rose two points ahead of Barcelona, which can recover the top spot in the standings with a win at home over Celta Vigo later. Sevilla, level on points with Barcelona, visits Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Madrid will take its 11-game winning run back home to host Liverpool in the Champions League on Tuesday. It has outscored opponents 46-7 during that streak.
Ronaldo also kept up his personal streak with his league-leading 17th goal through nine rounds and his 22nd overall this campaign.
“Talking about Cristiano is starting to be a little difficult. He is fantastic,” Ancelotti said. “We are playing with quality and a lot of concentration, work and sacrifice. When this team fights, its talent comes out.”
Granada coach Joaquin Caparros, one the league’s veteran managers, had reacted angrily before the match to a bad headline in a Madrid-friendly sports daily. He tore a copy of MARCA into bits at a news conference on Friday after saying the paper had misquoted him in a headline saying “I only ask they don’t steam-roller us” across its front page.
Unfortunately for Caparros, Madrid did just that with the same starting 11 that beat Barcelona 3-1 last weekend.
Ronaldo’s sharp right-footed strike to slot in Benzema’s pass after Dani Carvajal had won possession near the end-line put the visitors in control.
Ancelotti’s team went on to have a placid afternoon in warm southern Spain, with Rodriguez and Toni Kroos orchestrating its attack.
Caparros apologized after the match for the “manner” in which he carried out his tirade before the game.
“We prepared for the game believing in our chances, but Madrid’s first goal was a heavy blow,” said Caparros. “The result is lopsided. We deserved to score a goal but their early goal broke us.”
Benzema, Isco and Carvajal, who later left with an apparent leg injury, all had chances to score before Rodriguez made it 2-0 in the 31st with an exquisite touch of his left boot to send the ball dipping over goalkeeper Roberto Fernandez after being set up by Benzema.
Benzema stabbed in his goal in the 54th from a back-heeled pass Ronaldo made with a defender draped on his back to ensure Granada stayed winless in six matches.
Granada didn’t threaten Iker Casillas’ goal until the 67th when substitute Ruben Rochina’s on-target shot hit Sergio Ramos. The Madrid defender cleared a dangerous cross near his goalline in the 80th before Casillas made his first save to deny Javi Marquez.
Rodriguez tapped in his second goal with three minutes to go.
Also later, Atletico Madrid hosts Cordoba while Malaga visits Real Sociedad.