Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the summit of LaLiga after coming from behind to beat Real Sociedad 3-1 at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Barca had edged past Leganes earlier in the day to open up a three-point lead over their bitter rivals but Zinedine Zidane's side registered a second consecutive league win to rejoin them on 28 points.
Willian Jose took advantage of a woeful mistake by Sergio Ramos to put Sociedad ahead in the second minute but Karim Benzema restored parity before half-time.
Federico Valverde – who opened his Madrid account in the 4-0 win over Eibar before the international break – completed the turnaround shortly after the restart before Luka Modric sealed all three points 16 minutes from time.
Gareth Bale was introduced as a second-half substitute by Zidane and was greeted by a mixture of whistles and cheers from Madrid supporters after holding a banner following Wales' win over Hungary in midweek that read: 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER'.
Sociedad were gifted the lead inside the opening two minutes thanks to a moment of madness from Ramos.
The Madrid captain's backpass to Thibaut Courtois was cut out by Willian Jose, who took a touch past the Belgium international and rolled into an empty net.
Alex Remiro got down well to keep out Ferland Mendy's powerful drive soon after, while at the other end Courtois had to beat away Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard's fierce effort.
Madrid conjured up a scarcely deserved leveller eight minutes before the interval when Benzema used his chest to steer home Luka Modric's free-kick from six yards.
They started the second half with a spring in their step and forged ahead in the 47th minute when Valverde's shot from just outside the penalty area took a wicked deflection off Mikel Oyarzabal to wrongfoot Remiro.
Bale shrugged off his hostile reception to play a part in Madrid's third. His cross from the right was headed down into Modric's path by Benzema and the Croatian lashed a fine half-volley past Remiro to add gloss to the scoreline.
What does it mean? Madrid march on against tough opposition
After a challenging start to the season Madrid are now on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions and look well set for a mouth-watering duel with Barca for the league title. They were far from their fluid best against Imanol Alguacil's side but Zidane will be pleased to overcome a Sociedad outfit who have been in stellar from so far this season.
Benzema's fine campaign continues
The former France international has been in wonderful form this season. He again showed why Zidane has so much faith in him, pulling Madrid level with his 10th league goal and then teeing up Modric's third with a precise header.
Ramos gives Sociedad a helping hand
The Madrid captain gift-wrapped Sociedad's opener with as careless a display of defending as the Santiago Bernabeu faithful are likely to witness this season. He will be a relieved man that it did not matter in the end.
Key Opta Facts
- Modric has been involved in three goals in a single game for Real Madrid in all competitions for the first time (one goal and two assists).
- Only Lionel Messi (29) and Robert Lewandowski (28) have scored more goals than Benzema in the top five European leagues in 2019 (25, level with Kylian Mbappe).
- No other LaLiga player has made more assists than Benzema this season in all competitions (6, level with Lionel Messi).
- Madrid conceded their fastest LaLiga goal since January 2015, also against Real Sociedad (Elustondo, 38 seconds).
- Willian Jose is the second Real Sociedad player to score against Madrid in consecutive LaLiga games at Santiago Bernabeu in the 21st century (two goals), after Xabi Prieto (four goals between 2012 and 2013).
Madrid host Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday before returning to domestic action on Saturday with a visit to Deportivo Alaves. Sociedad, meanwhile, welcome Eibar to Anoeta on Saturday.