FC Barcelona lost the leadership of La Liga on Sunday following a 2-1 defeat away to Deportivo la Coruna.
Barca went into the game in the wake of their 6-1 win at home to Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday night, but played without Neymar, and fell behind to a 40th minute goal to Joselu.
Luis Suarez drew Barca level quickly after the break, but Alex Bergantinos, making a rare start for Deportivo, netted the winner with 16 minutes remaining.
Real Madrid took advantage of that loss, moving back to the top of the table with a 2-1 win over Betis 2-1, but were made to work hard by a rival who first took the lead through Antonio Sanabria, following an error from Madrid keeper Keylor Navas, who earlier in the game should have been sent off for a clear foul when he was the last man.
Cristiano Ronaldo equalized with one of his few contributions to the game, before Sergio Ramos sealed the win with another late header.
Meanwhile, Sevilla’s title hopes look to be slipping away after a 1-1 draw at home to Leganes on Saturday.
Leganes took advantage of squad rotations by Sevilla ahead of their Champions League clash away to Leicester City with a well-organized display, and really deserved more than a single point.
Leganes opened the scoring in the second minute with a Gabriel Pires back-heel and had chances to double their lead before Stefan Jovetic leveled shortly before halftime.
Fourth place Atletico Madrid kept up the pace thanks to a late goal from Antoine Griezmann, whose 84th minute diving header was enough to separate the two sides and leave Granada deeper in the relegation mire ahead of a vital trip to play Sporting Gijon.
Granada also saw Wakaso sent off in the last minute of the game, but will have the consolation of knowing that Sporting will have Duje Cop, Nacho Cases and goalkeeper Pichu Cuellar suspended for a life or death tie.
Those suspensions took the shine off Sporting’s 1-1 draw away to Valencia in a game where Cuellar saved his second penalty in a fortnight before Cop put the visitors ahead on the hour only for Munir to equalize with six minutes remaining.
Atletico’s win saw them consolidate their place in the top four after Real Sociedad were beaten 2-0 at home to Athletic Club Bilbao in the Basque derby.
In a game played in continual rain, Athletic opened the scoring through a 28th minute Raul Garcia penalty and Inaki Williams doubled their lead in the 55th minute following a mix-up in the Real Sociedad defense.
In other action, Roberto Soldado’s solitary goal was enough to give Villarreal a 1-0 win away to Celta Vigo.
Michel Gonzalez’s debut as Malaga coach ended in defeat at home to Alaves in a game Malaga deserved to win, but were denied by the saves of visiting keeper, Fernando Pacheco and goals from Zou Feddal at the end of the first half.
Malaga got a well-deserved equalizer through Juan Carlos and looked to win after Feddal was sent off, but Edgar Mendez scored a second goal for the side against the run of play to seal an unlikely win in injury time. Enditem