Cristiano Ronaldo has attributed Real Madrid's sizzling form to the presence of Gareth Bale and a strong team effort, after notching a hat-trick in their 5-1 thrashing of Real Sociedad on Saturday.
The Portuguese struck in tandem with Karim Benzema and Sami Khedira in a strong display of attacking football to lift los Blancos within three points of leaders Barcelona, who play Betis on Sunday.
And Ronaldo was delighted at how well the team have been gelling of late, with Bale playing an important part alongside the Portuguese and Benzema up front.
"He's [Bale] doing very well with us, with the team. He's playing very well and I'm happy out on the pitch with him, with Karim and with [Angel] Di Maria," he told reporters after the match.
"We started playing more slowly after the goals, but I'm very happy with today's match. The team is finding its stride.
"We've met our objective and it was a good win. We're very happy. The season is going well thanks to the work we're doing."
Goalkeeper Diego Lopez says he could not imagine a Real side without Ronaldo, before insisting early criticism of Carlo Ancelotti's work had been wildly exaggerated.
"He's [Ronaldo] incredible. Today we saw, once again, what a unique player he is. We're very lucky to have him here. He makes the difference everyday," the Spaniard said.
"We knew that adopting Ancelotti's ideas was only going to be a question of time. Little by little we're seeing the team that the boss wants and today we've taken another step towards what he's after."
Lopez also denied that he had a difficult relationship with Iker Casillas, with the latter dropped in favour of him.
"I'm removed from this kind of talk, although it might seem impossible," he concluded. "I've known Iker since I was 18 and I've always had a good relationship with him.
"It's wonderful to compete in this team with a keeper like Iker. We're both after the spot and we both give everything we have to play."
The 32-year-old initially returned to the Spanish capital in January as back-up for the then-injured Casillas, before subsequently nailing down a starting spot at his captain's expense.