Gareth Bale dragged Real Madrid away from the ignominy of a third straight home defeat in LaLiga by netting a match-turning brace before Deportivo La Coruna collapsed to a 7-1 defeat.
Cristiano Ronaldo and, in a more unlikely turn of events, Nacho, also notched doubles to boost under-fire boss Zinedine Zidane.
Loses to Barcelona and Villarreal either side of the mid-season break contributed to leaving Madrid fourth and 19 points off the pace in the title race, and further woes awaited when Adrian Lopez capitalised on slack defending to net a 23rd-minute opener.
Amid palpable unrest from the stands, Madrid steadied themselves and centre-back Nacho levelled, before Bale took centre stage.
The Wales star finished exquisitely to give Zidane's men the lead at the break and he converted Toni Kroos' corner before the hour to make the points safe.
That Bale is now Madrid's joint-top scorer in LaLiga with six this season owes much to Ronaldo's trials in front of goal.
Those were again gruesomely evident until the five-time Ballon d'Or winner followed Luka Modric onto the scoresheet 12 minutes from time and his brave diving header preceded Nacho completing a rout that leaves Deportivo slumped in the relegation zone.
Borja Mayoral was preferred in attack alongside Ronaldo and Bale by Zidane and the 20-year-old forward turned Modric's cross goalwards to draw a fifth-minute stop from Ruben Martinez in the Deportivo goal.
Madrid largely ambled through the opening exchanges, with nothing to show for their meagre efforts, and the Bernabeu faithful whistled their side when they fell behind.
Florin Andone's clever flick on caught out Dani Carvajal and Lucas Perez scooted past a napping Raphael Varane for Adrian to slide home.
Marcelo was the closest player to the Deportivo goalscorer and, seemingly stung, the left-back drove an impressive response from the hosts.
He saw an angled volley flash wide before Ruben brilliantly saved a Ronaldo header from the Brazil international's 28th-minute cross.
Ruben then fortuitously turned a Marcelo drive on to the base of his post and it was no surprise to see him turn provider as Nacho steered home in assured fashion.
Madrid kept their momentum rumbling on and were rewarded three minutes before half-time.
Ronaldo went to ground under minimal encouragement from Depor defender Fabian Schar and, as he berated the referee, Bale collected the loose ball from Marcelo's cross and curled a sumptuous strike into the top corner.
5 - Gareth Bale has scored five goals in 2018, more than any other La Liga player in all competitions. Express. pic.twitter.com/JpF08WuzJy— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 21, 2018
Five minutes into the second half, Ronaldo contrived to foul Schar as Carvajal's low ball across the box suggested a tap-in.
A sliding Mayoral was unable to provide the decisive touch at the end of Marcelo's latest raid and, in another recurring theme of the match, Ruben showed lightning reactions in the 58th minute to deny Casemiro from Kroos' cross.
Kroos trotted over to the left flank to take the resulting corner when Bale rose unchallenged to muscularly power home the header.
Mayoral headed a Bale cross off target from four yards and that miss heralded the introduction of Karim Benzema, a substitution that was whistled by a section of supporters apparently underwhelmed by the long-awaited reunion of the BBC.
Ronaldo had a contribution to enjoy as his 68th-minute backheel teed up Modric to crisply net his first league goal of the season from the edge of the box.
Andone should have pulled one back from close range for Deportivo before Ronaldo controlled brilliantly with his chest, only to finish with all the poise of a rank amateur.
There was relief and a notable lack of his trademark celebration when Ronaldo finished Casemiro's cross from close range.
He joined Bale with a double but paid a painful price in the 84th minute, bloodied by Schar's boot as he bravely converted a centre from substitute Lucas Vazquez.
Nacho suffered far less for his own satisfaction, converting a set-piece against opponents who appeared to have clocked off before the final whistle.
Key Opta stats:
- This is the second time under Zidane that Madrid have scored seven goals in a single LaLiga match, the other also a 7-1 victory against Celta Vigo in March 2016.
- Adrian scored his second LaLiga goal at the Santiago Bernabeu, having also scored for Atletico Madrid against Real in 2011.
- After 16 matches, Nacho has already matched his best scoring record in a single LaLiga season (3).
- Bale has scored eight goals in six league appearances against Deportivo.
- Only Lionel Messi (17) has provided more LaLiga assists than Toni Kroos in the last two seasons - the German level with Luis Suarez on 15.
|Lewandowski won´t be distracted by Real Madrid rumours|
|Man Utd must not underestimate Sevilla - Navas|
|Iniesta will not be made welcome at Stamford Bridge, warns Azpilicueta|
|Ballack sees ´a big difference´ between Bundesliga and Premier League|
|Betis boss would have preferred to face Madrid´s BBC|
|Chelsea v Barcelona: Messi´s blues against the Blues|
|James leaving Madrid was the best thing, says father|
|He´s looking good – Zidane thrilled with Ronaldo|
|It needs to take 30 seconds – Matic wants quicker VAR|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Fabregas still wary of timeless Iniesta|
|Liverpool´s 30-goal hero Salah: There´s more to come|
|Valverde: Coutinho dropped for the good of Barcelona|
|Ronaldo better than Neymar? No says Xavi|
|Real Madrid hurt you with nothing – Xavi says PSG loss an injustice|
|Conte: Chelsea need perfect game to stop Messi and Barcelona|
|Inter in a fragile moment, says Spalletti|
|Booed Emery praises PSG´s mental strength|
|Cavani hails ´good reaction´ as PSG bounce back in style|
|Mourinho wants referees to have final say on VAR|
|Genoa 2 Inter 0: Pandev piles misery on old employers|
|Manchester United to host Brighton in FA Cup quarter-finals|
|Mata ´still up for VAR´ despite disallowed goal at Huddersfield|
|Valverde: Barcelona had to suffer at Eibar|
|Championship Review: Fulham end Villa run, Cardiff pounce|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester United 2: Lukaku sends visitors through after VAR controversy|
|Bayern Munich boss Heynckes hails game-changing Muller|
|Locadia benefiting from ´competitive´ Brighton - Hughton|
|Baby on board? Alba dedicates Barca goal to girlfriend|
|West Brom future ´not a decision for me´, says Pardew|
|Paris Saint-Germain 5 Strasbourg 2: Cavani at the double in bounce-back win|
|Bar-celona! Messi posts unwanted record|
|Barca go 31 LaLiga games unbeaten to tie club record|
|Mourinho: I don´t know and I don´t care when Pogba returns|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 3 Coventry City 1: Locadia, Ulloa lead Seagulls to quarter-finals|
|EIbar 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez and Alba seal points as Orellana sees red|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 2: Rondon stunner in vain as Baggies drop out|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 2: Lewandowski spot-on after Robben´s penalty miss|
|I hope Cutrone finds a beautiful girlfriend so he can rest and make love - Gattuso|
|Allegri denies Champions League ´obsession´ ahead of Turin derby|
|Barry, Evans start for West Brom after training camp incident|
|Sheffield Wednesday 0 Swansea City 0: Carvalhal settles for replay on Hillsborough return|
|Management ´tiring´ but Zidane not ready to leave Madrid just yet|
|Thiago back for Bayern as Heynckes rests stars for Besiktas|
|Simeone urges Atletico fans to get behind Griezmann|
|Robben amazed by Guardiola´s impact at Manchester City|
|Pogba out of Man Utd´s Huddersfield trip with illness|
|A-League Review: Perth ´Panenka´ punished, 10-man Adelaide rescue late draw|
|Robben targets two more years at the ´highest level´|
|Rashford and Herrera ´have a chance´ of making Sevilla trip|
|Emery defends PSG star Neymar after Madrid display|
|Mahrez saga now over, says Leicester boss Puel|
|Alonso to return for Barca clash but Bakayoko set to miss first leg – Conte|
|Mourinho: Manchester United will sign a midfielder|