A brilliant free-kick from Jose Antonio Reyes pushed all talk of crisis into the background as Real Madrid has joined Barcelona and Sevilla at the Spanish league summit following a 1-0 win at Real Mallorca.
The manner of the win was workmanlike at best, but Reyes' superb strike 13 minutes from time from a free-kick awarded after Fernando Navarro had fouled the former Arsenal man on Sunday, deserved to win any match.
The three points hauled Real onto 38 points from 19 games - the midway point of the season, although Barcelona have a game in hand and a superior goal difference having swamped Gimnastic Tarragona 3-0 at the Nou Camp.
Sevilla drew 0-0 at Villarreal on Saturday to make it three games without a win for the southerners even if they still share the leadership.
Real achieved their win in the continued absence of unwanted stars David Beckham and Ronaldo - the former having agreed to join Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer, if not before, and the latter believed to be on his way to AC Milan.
Striker Raul, one of a dwindling band of pre-Beckham era stars, missed yesterday's win with injury but despite several minor scares Real came through the evening relatively untroubled.
"Today was a massive win," said Real's sporting director Pedja Mijatovic.
"I think we can play better but I'm happy."
Pressed on the future of the club's discarded galacticos, he told Canal Plus television "Now is not the time to speak about such things!"