Real Madrid secured a club record 16th straight victory when Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale struck in a laboured 2-1 win at Malaga on Saturday that put them five points clear of second-placed Barcelona in La Liga.
Benzema diverted a Cristiano Ronaldo centre past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni in the 18th minute at the Rosaleda and Bale finished off a swift break, in which Ronaldo was also involved, seven minutes from time.
Former Malaga midfielder Isco was dismissed in the 86th minute and the hosts pulled a goal back in stoppage time when Roque Santa Cruz nodded past Iker Casillas.
Real have 33 points from 13 matches and the victory helped them surpass their previous best of 15 successive wins in all competitions set in 1960-61 and 2011-12. Carlo Ancelotti's men have won all their games since a 2-1 league defeat at home to champions Atletico Madrid in September.
"It's always a very tough match here," Real full back Marcelo told Spanish television.
"We managed to beat the record but with a lot of work and commitment from the team," added the Brazil international. "Our main objective is to carry on winning each game."
Barca can trim the deficit to two points at fourth-placed Valencia on Sunday when Atletico, third on 26 points, host promoted Deportivo La Coruna.
Isco's return to his home city ended badly when he received a second yellow card although he was given a rousing ovation by the Malaga fans as he trudged off the pitch.
"I think Madrid deserved the victory," said Cameroon international Kameni. "We showed today that we deserve a lot of credit and we have achieved great things in the opening part of the season."Elsewhere, Celta Vigo missed a chance to climb above Malaga and draw level on 23 points with fifth-placed Sevilla when they lost 1-0 at home to Eibar, who moved up to 10th on 16 points.