Jude Bellingham scored again as Real Madrid defeated Villarreal 4-1 on Sunday, going to the top of La Liga.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men are one point ahead of Girona, who face Alaves on Monday and will be desperate to reclaim first position.
Real Madrid’s leading scorer in Spain, Bellingham, opened the scoring with his 13th league goal, before Rodrygo Goes doubled their lead.
Jose Luis Morales equalized for Villarreal, but Brahim Diaz scored a spectacular solo goal to restore Madrid’s lead.
As Madrid fans celebrated a massive win in their final home game of the season, Luka Modric scored the fourth goal.
“It’s the kind of move I usually try, and today it went in, so I’m very happy,” Diaz told Real Madrid TV.
“(I’m happy) for the team’s work, we did a great job today and I’m happy for the goal and for the win.”
In attack, Diaz is creating a fruitful relationship with Bellingham and Rodrygo.
“We understand each other well, we all get along because it’s an incredible group, we are very united and you see that on the pitch,” he added.
Ancelotti’s only setback came from an injury to defender David Alaba, whom he replaced in the first half.
This season, the Italian coach trusted England international Bellingham to play an aggressive role for Madrid, and it has paid off in nearly every game.
After Madrid defeated third-placed Barcelona at Valencia on Saturday, the 20-year-old scored his 17th goal in all competitions in his 20th match of the season to get the party started.
Madrid had a great start against Villarreal, playing for the second time at the rebuilt Santiago Bernabeu with the new roof closed.
Bellingham deserved their due when they climbed high to nod home Modric’s brilliant clipped cross midway through the first half.
Injuries are becoming more common.
After challenging Gerard Moreno, Alaba exited the field with an apparent knee injury, along with teammate Alex Baena and Madrid’s Ferland Mendy.
Ancelotti’s side has already lost Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao, Eduardo Camavinga, and others.
They didn’t show it on Sunday, either, with Rodrygo scoring from close range after the ball was deflected into the box.
It was the Brazilian’s eighth goal in his last eight Real Madrid games, extending his own impressive scoring streak following a slow start to the season.
Villarreal equalized early in the second half, with Morales finishing past Andriy Lunin, who was selected ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Diaz, on the other hand, crushed the visitors’ hopes when he turned away from Aissa Mandi in midfield, drove forward, avoided Jorge Cuenca, and finished with ease.
Madrid fans screamed ‘ole’ after Modric’s fourth goal as their team maneuvered the ball around an increasingly frustrated Villarreal.
Madrid now has 38 La Liga goals, matching Girona’s total as the league’s leading scorers.
Midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni returned from injury as a late substitution to cap off a reasonably smooth night for Los Blancos, who currently lead third-place Barcelona by seven points.
“It’s always good to build an advantage on Barca but there’s a long way to go in the league and we have to continue with this mentality,” said Rodriguez.
Under Marcelino, Villarreal sit 14th, three points above the relegation zone.