(CNN)Even by Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible standards his performance in Real Madrid's 9-1 victory over Granada Sunday was something special.
Cristiano Ronaldo scores five as Real routs Granada
World Player of the Year Ronaldo grabbed the fastest hat-trick of his stellar career and scored five times in a match for the first time to condemn the second bottom side in La Liga to a chastening afternoon in the Bernabeu.
After last month's defeat in El Clasico to Barcelona, it was just the tonic Real required, but its arch rival later scrambled to a 1-0 win at Celta Vigo to stay four points ahead in the La Liga title race.
" Cristiano has improved, as the team has improved," Real boss Carlo Ancelotti told gathered reporters.
"His five goals are good for everyone, for him and the team in next games."
It was Gareth Bale, fresh from his heroics for Wales in Euro 2016 qualifiers last weekend, who started the rout as he rounded goalkeeper Oier Olazabal to score from an acute angle, his fifth goal in his last four games.
Ronaldo then stepped up to score three times in just eight minutes, taking advantage of poor defending by the visitors with some emphatic finishing.
The pattern continued after the break when Karim Benzema grabbed a double, with Ronaldo's fourth sandwiched between.
Robert Ibanez pulled one back for Granada, but the humiliation was complete when Diego Mainz put through his own net in bizarre fashion before Ronaldo took his tally to five with a last minute header from a Luka Modric free kick.
It was the first time a Real player had achieved this feat since Fernando Morientes in 2002 and the biggest La Liga win for Los Blancos since 1967.
Ronaldo has 36 La Liga goals for the campaign, pulling him four clear of Barca's Lionel Messi and 46 goals in all games for his club.
There was also a welcome return for James Rodriquez after two months out. "He always has ideas," said Ancelotti, who was pleased with the attacking fluency of his side, admittedly against feeble opposition.
Opposition coach Abel Resino summed it up: "We can talk about players left out or not, but this just a disaster. I take personal responsibility," he said.
For Real, it is the start of a busy month with six games in La Liga and its continued defense of the Champions League crown, but with Rodriguez returning and Modric restored to full fitness, Ancelotti has tricky selection posers for matches ahead.
Barcelona owed its later victory to a 74th minute goal from young French defender Jeremy Mathieu, who had scored the opener in the 2-1 El Clasico win over Real.
He again headed home from a set piece, the home side's attempt to level hardly helped by the late dismissal of Fabian Orellana for throwing a chunk of grass at Sergio Busquets as he prepared to take a free kick.
In the English Premier League, a superb Jermain Defoe volley just before halftime settled the Tyne-Wear derby 1-0 in Sunderland's favor.
It was a fifth straight win over local rivals Newcastle and takes Dick Advocaat's team three points clear of the relegation zone.
Earlier, fellow strugglers Burnley held Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw in an uninspiring match at Turf Moor.
It left Burnley in 18th spot while the dropped points make Tottenham's hopes of making a top four Champions League spot the more difficult.
Meanwhile, in France's Ligue 1, Paris Saint Germain stayed top after this weekend's round of fixtures with a 3-2 win at third place Marseille.
Before a capacity crowd in the Velodrome Stadium, Marseille was twice ahead though Andre-Pierre Gignac goals.
Blaise Matuidi and Marquinhos scored the equalizers before Jeremy Morel, under pressure from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, put into his own net to give PSG a valuable three points. Lyon is a point adrift in second.