MADRID, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona retained their lead at the top of the BBVA Primera Liga in Spain with a comfortable 4-0 win at home to local rivals, Espanyol.
All of the goals came in the first half with Pedro Rodriguez netting twice along with Xavi Hernandez, who opened the scoring, and Leo Messi, who scored a penalty.
Perhaps the best news of the day was the return of Barca coach Tito Vilanova to the Barca dugout less than three weeks after a cancer operation.
Barca's lead at the top of the table increased to 11 points as a result of Atletico Madrid's failure to win away to struggling Mallorca.
Atletico must have thought the points were on their way back to Madrid when Raul Garcia put them ahead when he slid home a loose ball after 72 minutes, but Kevin Garcia scored an equalizer with two minutes remaining following a scramble in the Atletico penalty area.
Real Madrid took three points from an entertaining 4-3 win over Real Sociedad. Cristiano Ronaldo's two second half goals sealed the points for Madrid after Jose Mourinho again left goalkeeper Iker Casillas on the subs' bench.
Casillas was soon in the action, however, after Antonio Adan was sent off for bringing down Real Sociedad's Carlos Vela, although he could do nothing to stop Xabi Prieto's spot kick.
Prieto netted two further goals, but first half goals from Karim Benzema and Sami Khedria were decisive in the final result.
Sunday had kicked off with Iago Aspes scoring twice to inspire struggling Celta Vigo to a 3-1 win at home to Valladolid.
Alex Lopez added Celta's third, while Alberto Bueno scored for the visitors. ( Saturday night saw Emir Spahic's scrappy goal seven minutes from time gave Sevilla a vital home win against Osasuna to leave Osasuna bottom of the league.
Pizzi's 57th minute goal gave new Deportivo la Coruna coach Domingos Paciencia a winning debut as his side climbed off the bottom of the table thanks to a surprise 1-0 home win against Malaga.
Meanwhile Valencia's improvement under coach Ernesto Valverde continued with a 2-1 victory away to struggling Granada, who were forced to play for almost an hour due to the harsh expulsion of Mikel Rico.
Granada took the lead through Brayan Angulo, but goals from Jonas Goncalves and Pablo Piatti turned the game around and give Valverde three wins in four games in charge.
Levante's excellent season continued with a 3-1 win over Athletic Club Bilbao, who had taken the lead through Aritz Aduriz early in the game, before Levante reacted and equalized thanks to Christian Lell.
Vicente Iborra put Levante ahead before the break, just after Aymeric Laporte had been sent off for the visitors and Nabil El Zhar ended the scoring with 20 minutes left.
The round of matches kicked off on Friday with Betis winning 2-1 in Zaragoza and will end of Monday when Rayo Vallecano play Getafe in a south Madrid derby.