Madrid: Five blistering minutes early in the second half were enough to silence the alarm bells that were ringing around the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and put Real Madrid on the way to a 5-2 win at home to Mallorca.
Before Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain scored three goals in the 52nd, 54th and 57th minutes Saturday, Mallorca had managed to silence the Bernabeu by taking a 2-1 lead against the Champions League quarterfinalists.
Jose Mourinho made it clear his side`s priority is glory in Europe this season by resting midfielders Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedria and giving a start to Kaka and Alvaro Morata while playing Pepe in central midfield.
Mallorca travelled to Madrid on the back of two wins but still rooted in the relegation zone. Although the new spirit in the side was evident in an aggressive start which saw them take the lead after a good cross from Giovanni Dos Santos was met with a firm header from Emilio N`Sue.
Madrid equalised after a good combination between Pepe and Ronaldo which left Higuain with a simple tap 10 minutes later before their defensive frailties were again exposed when Alejandro Alfaro headed Mallorca back in front from a corner.
The visitors had looked as if they wanted the win more before the break and Mourinho reacted at halftime by bringing Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil into the game. Ronaldo levelled the score with a flicked header that Mallorca keeper Dudu Aouate couldn`t keep out.
Modric then scored a fine shot two minutes later before Higuain ended the five frantic minutes with another simple finish following fine work from Ozil down the Madrid right.
The goals left Mallorca groggy, while bringing the Madrid fans, who had been distinctly subdued earlier in the evening, into life and Karim Benzema rounded off the night with Madrid`s fifth goal deep in injury time.
The win leaves Madrid 10 points behind league leaders FC Barcelona who play at home to Rayo Vallecano Sunday night while Mallorca remain in the relegation zone although they will take heart from their first half display.
The day kicked off with Real Sociedad strengthening their Champions League hopes by sweeping aside Valladolid 4-1. Two goals from Antoine Griezmann plus further strikes from Imanol Agirretxe and Xabi Prieto extended the run of the Basque side to 10 games and lifted them into fourth place in the table.
Getafe won 1-0 at home to Athletic Club Bilbao. Borja Fernandez scored his first goal in five years seven minutes into the game to give the three points to a Getafe side that would have won by more goals had it not been for another good performance from Athletic keeper Gorka Iraizoz.