Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal and set up the third as Real Madrid bounced back from their derby defeat to Atletico with a 3-1 La Liga victory away at bottom club Levante.
Ronaldo, who had been critical of his team-mates after the 1-0 loss to their city rivals on Saturday, only to later insist his comments had been "misinterpreted", converted a 34th-minute penalty to break the deadlock at Estadio Ciudad de Valencia.
An unfortunate own goal by Levante goalkeeper Diego Marino doubled Madrid's lead four minutes later, only for the hosts to almost immediately pull one back through Brazilian forward Deyverson.
However, Madrid's ninth successive win over Levante was wrapped up in injury time when Ronaldo's cut-back from the right byline set up substitute Isco.
The result sees Zinedine Zidane's side close the gap to second-placed Atletico back to four points, and they now sit four clear of nearest rivals Villarreal, who drew 0-0 at Celta Vigo.
Madrid's derby defeat proved to be painful for more than just the result – Luka Modric and Karim Benzema, who was withdrawn at half-time on Saturday, picked up injuries in the derby, while both Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos received bookings that triggered suspensions.
As a consequence, Zidane picked a side showing five changes and they took their time to get going in Valencia.
They would have fallen behind in the fifth minute had former Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas not reacted superbly to keep out Giuseppe Rossi's snap shot.
However, Levante gifted their opponents the chance to break the deadlock, Lucas Orban's obvious trip on Lucas Vazquez inside the area allowing Ronaldo to score his 23rd league goal of the season from the spot.
Luck deserted Marino for the visitors' second, the goalkeeper inadvertently deflecting the ball into his own net after a shot from Borja Mayoral - who was handed his first start in La Liga - had struck the post.
Still, Levante's response to going 2-0 down was impressive.
They halved the deficit inside a minute, with Rossi's superb reverse pass presenting the chance for Deyverson to slot a left-footed shot beyond Navas.
Marino kept Levante alive with an acrobatic save to deny a long-range attempt from Nacho early in the second half, while the woodwork came to his aid to keep out Ronaldo's steered volley from James Rodriguez's inch-perfect pass over the top.
Deyverson's flick narrowly wide of the target on the hour mark showed Madrid could not take the result for granted, but Isco's first-time effort at the death from Ronaldo's assist made sure of a much-needed result for Zidane's men.
Key Opta stats:
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in his 13 appearances against Levante in all competitions.
- Ronaldo has delivered 12 assists this season, as many as Lionel Messi (all competitions).
- Isco has scored four goals against Levante in La Liga, his favourite opponent in the competition.
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|If you play for Atletico, you must be committed – Koke responds to Griezmann speculation|
|Giggs: Bale will feature for Wales in China Cup|
|Maradona: Messi doesn´t have to prove himself by winning World Cup|
|Cristiano Ronaldo hasn´t asked to leave Real Madrid amid China links – Perez|
|Manchester United apply for professional women´s team|
|Bolt a fan of Ronaldo, but compares his talent to Messi´s|
|Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto|
|Shaw issue a distraction from Manchester United´s failures, says Neville|
|Hamsik withdraws from Slovakia squad|
|Griezmann backs Pogba to prove doubters wrong for France|
|Sanchez ´expected something better´ from Manchester United move|
|Javi Martinez in the dark over Spain squad omission|
|Giggs feeling the tension ahead of Wales debut|
|Juventus confirm Alex Sandro thigh injury|
|Hart praises ´loyal guy´ Southgate amid World Cup axe fears|
|I miss Morata, says recalled Costa|
|I can improve even more at Manchester City - Bernardo Silva|
|Neymar will be fit for the World Cup, insists Ronaldo|
|Costa thinks Griezmann will stay at Atletico Madrid|
|Ferdinand worried by England´s World Cup striker options|
|Stam leaves Reading after wretched run|
|Neymar is great, we´ll see if he joins Real Madrid – Asensio|
|Maguire tips ´nightmare´ Vardy to replace injured Kane|
|Malcom ready to leave Bordeaux and chase Bayern ´dream´|
|Asensio insists Zidane was not unfair to him|
|Griezmann wants future resolved before World Cup|
|Nocerino wants Conte return after Italy´s World Cup ´disaster´|
|Iconic 2002 World Cup haircut was media distraction, reveals Ronaldo|
|Wright: Difficult for Liverpool sensation Salah to resist Real Madrid|
|Yaya Toure yet to report for international duty, confirm Ivory Coast|
|Morrison confirms plans to play for Jamaica|
|Germany should be proud to have Sane, says Tah|
|Bertrand out of England friendlies with back injury|
|Young backs Mourinho over Shaw treatment|
|BVBolt? Athletics great scores header while training in Dortmund kit|
|Fekir will look to leave Lyon the right way, says agent|
|Alisson loves Roma and we haven´t discussed Liverpool move, insists agent|
|McTominay: I always wanted to play for Scotland|
|Chiesa vows to honour Astori with Italy displays|
|England´s Pope ready for Heaton challenge amid World Cup race|
|Lautaro Martinez confirms impending Inter move|
|Morata wasn´t happy with Spain snub, admits Alonso|
|Raiola rages over Italy´s Balotelli snub|
|Raiola hopes Reina to Milan hastens Donnarumma exit|
|Former Sevilla coach Berizzo eyeing return after beating cancer|
|Cutrone did not expect whirlwind Milan season and Italy call-up|
|´Happy´ Kepa mulled over Real Madrid move|
|Lucas Vazquez keen on Real Madrid stay|
|Juventus clear Chiellini of serious injury|
|Newcastle charged as youth team allegedly breach advertising regulations|
|I did not betray Roma – Pjanic could not pass up Juventus opportunity|
|Title-chasing Sarri closes on Napoli renewal as he hopes to repay fans|
|Messi and Ronaldo reveal World Cup kits|
|Nara praises Inter project as Icardi talks continue|
|Marseille´s Rami wants to ´tickle´ PSG|
|Salah can push on to Messi´s level - Robertson|
|Iniesta better than last year – Lopetegui|
|Okon quits as Mariners head coach|
|Lopetegui: Morata must earn World Cup spot|
|Ronaldo has asked about China – Scolari|
|Ronaldo: I always show I´m the best|
|Manchester United not in Jorginho talks, says Napoli star´s agent|