MADRID, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Real Madrid restored their seven-point lead at the top of the Primera Liga and maintained their 100 percent record at the Bernabeu with a ruthlessly efficient 2-0 win over Real Zaragoza on Sunday.
Zaragoza completely dominated for over an hour but were frustrated by a succession of top-class saves by Real keeper Iker Casillas and some profligate finishing by their strikers.
Real made off with the points thanks to a sharp header from leading striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and a cool breakaway finish from Robinho.
With one game to go before the halfway mark in the season, Real lead the table on 44 points, seven clear of Barcelona who ground out a 2-0 win away to Real Mallorca on Saturday.
Espanyol are a point behind Barca in third after their classy 3-0 win over Villarreal on Saturday, while Atletico Madrid are two further back in fourth after a rare 3-0 win away to struggling Deportivo Coruna.
Zaragoza, who went into the game at the Bernabeu without a win in their last seven outings, were in complete control in a one-sided first half.
But an inspired Casillas kept the home side in it with a string of brilliant saves to deny the Zaragoza strikers.
Ricardo Oliveira finally managed to beat the Real keeper on the hour only to see his low drive hit the base of the post.
Five minutes later, in practically their first attack of the game, Van Nistelrooy put Real in front when he headed in at the near post after some good work by Robinho on the right.
Robinho completed a classic smash-and-grab raid 11 minutes later, firing home after breaking clear down the middle of the pitch, while Casillas made several more superb saves to ensure Zaragoza were sent home empty handed.
Earlier strike partners Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero led Atletico Madrid their first league win in 13 years at the Riazor.
Forlan broke the deadlock in what had been a tight contest when he snapped in at the far post six minutes and Aguero made it 2-0 early in the second half with a coolly-taken solo effort.
Midfielder Jurado wrapped up 12 minutes later when he scored with a powerful header from the edge of the area after the Deportivo defence failed to deal with a corner.
Ronald Koeman's Valencia continued their dismal run of form and were jeered off the pitch by their own fans when they were helf to a 0-0 draw at home by Levante, the first time the basement side have taken a point away from home this season.
Sevilla continued their revival and closed to within a point of seventh-placed Valencia with a 3-0 win at home to city rivals Real Betis, Primera Liga top scorer Luis Fabiano taking his tally for the season to 12 goals with a first-half double.
Angel Vivar Dorado came back to haunt his former club Getafe when he scored two goals in an emphatic 3-0 win for Valladolid at the Coliseum.
Racing Santander strengthened their bid for a place in Europe with a narrow win over Athletic Bilbao, the only goal coming two minutes before halftime when Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente deflected a Mohamed Tchite header into his own net after a free kick.
Swedish striker Henok Goitom was the architect of a valuable win for Murcia over Osasuna, tucking a neat shot past keeper Ricardo in the 73rd minute and then winning a penalty in added time that was converted by midfielder Abel.
French striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle broke his barren run in front of goal to put Recreativo Huelva ahead against Almeria with a deflected left-foot shot on 14 minutes.
But Almeria equalised five minutes later when defender Mane cracked in with a first-time shot from the edge of the area after a corner.