Bale scores, Espanyol also win

Gareth Bale scored his first goal in six weeks as Real Madrid powered their way past Real Betis 5-0 to go joint-top of the Primera Division.

Bale sent a left-footed free-kick into the net midway through the first half after Cristiano Ronaldo had opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from over 30 yards out.

Karim Benzema then widened the scoreline even further before the break, taking advantage of a fine move from Luka Modric, and in the second half Angel Di Maria scored his second goal in as many games before substitute Alvaro Morata piled further misery on Liga whipping boys Betis.

Rayo Vallecano, meanwhile, were pushed into further relegation trouble after losing 2-0 away to fellow strugglers Elche.

The outcome of the game was never in doubt once the visitors went a goal and a player down after 19 minutes, Raul Baena shown a red card for bringing down Coro in the area and Edu Albacar scoring from the spot.

Paco Jemez's side could only seek to limit the damage for the remainder of the game and did a good job of it until Javi Marquez doubled the lead on 79 minutes.

Osasuna stretched their unbeaten league run to five Primera Division matches with a battling goalless draw at Granada, while Espanyol beat Celta Vigo 1-0 in the day's late game courtesy of a late goal from Sergio Garcia.