Barcelona kept their title push on track, but they were made to work hard for victory over Deportivo La Coruna.
Depor may be a shadow of their former selves, but they made Barca work extremely hard for a 2-1 win.
A piece of Ronaldinho magic on the stroke of half-time set Barca on their way, as he showed great skill to skip past Fabricio Coloccini before playing a great lofted pass in to Lionel Messi.
There was plenty of work for the Argentine to do, but he killed the ball in an instant before shooting beyond Dudu Awat.
A fluid passing move was capped by a deft finish from Samuel Eto'o on 51 minutes as Barca threatened to run riot.
The flood of goals failed to materialise and Lopez Adrian set up a tense finish when capitalising on some sloppy Barca defending to beat Victor Valdes with 20 minutes remaining.
Valdes made a fine late save as Barca held on to move three points clear of Sevilla who face Osasuna on Sunday.
Valencia kept their title hopes alive, but they were made to work hard for a 3-2 win over Espanyol.
The Che have a big game in midweek against Chelsea, but they kept their focus to claim a vital three points.
David Villa volleyed home Joaquin's cross on 11 minutes to hand Valencia the lead, but the advantage was short-lived as a sublime pass from Ivan de la Pena sliced open the Che defence and Albert Riera tucked his shot beyond Santiago Canizares.
Vicente restored Valencia's lead on 26 minutes and Miguel Angulo added a third on the hour.
Espanyol refused to wilt and Riera seized on some sloppy defending to tee-up Luis Garcia on 63 minutes, but Valencia held on for the points.
Real Sociedad hauled themselves off the foot of the table with a 1-0 win over Levante which came courtesy of Ion Ansotegi's goal on 38 minutes.
Juanito netted deep into injury-time as Real Betis came from behind on three occasions to take a home point against Villarreal.
Diego Forlan scored twice for Villarreal, but his efforts were cancelled out by Fernando and Edu.
Roberto Pires thought he had netted the winner for Villarreal with 12 minutes remaining, but Juanito salvaged a point for struggling Betis in the 93rd minute.
Betis are now six points ahead of third bottom Athletic Bilbao, while Villarreal remain in mid-table.