Atletico equal their best-ever winning streak at home
Real Madrid put their dismal first half of the season behind them as they tore Valencia apart for the first 45 minutes to win 5-0 and ease the pressure on coach Jose Mourinho.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria both hit braces and Gonzalo Higuain was also on target in a first-half goal romp.
After a cagey opening spell Madrid were suddenly presented with a gift for Higuain which he failed to take advantage of in front of goal.
Higuain was given the chance to make amends a minute later and this time made no mistake. Again it was a case of poor defending as Di Maria scampered clear and set up Higuain who slotted into the corner.
Valencia attempted to respond but they fell apart midway through the first half as their defence was once again exposed.
Keeper Diego Alves twice denied Sami Khedira and Raphael Varane headed wide from a corner before Di Maria got the second.
Ronaldo teased makeshift right-back Ricardo Costa, standing in for Joao Pereira, and crossed for the Argentine to tuck the ball home from close range.
Valencia were in disarray at the back and Ronaldo split them open again as he burst into the left of the area and beat Alves at his near post. Ronaldo got his second after 41 minutes when he cracked in an Ozil pass from 12 yard and then Ozil was again the provider as he put Di Maria clear for the fifth still before half-time.
Atletico Madrid equalled their best ever winning streak at home in La Liga in a memorable season for the club with win over Levante.
Goals from Adrian Lopez and Jorge Resurrecion Koke’ saw Atletico win their 12th straight league game at the Calderon and match the club record dating back to a run between the 1939-40 and 1940-41 seasons.
But the win was overshadowed by a thigh injury suffered by 18-goal top-scorer Radamel Falcao which could sideline him for three weeks.AFP