Real Madrid moved to within two points of Barcelona at the summit with a comfortable 2-0 win over Osasuna.
Fabio Capello's charges were not at their best, but they had enough class to claim the three points.
Real opened up Osasuna on 24 minutes, as Raul swept home from eight yards after Emerson had cushioned Mahamadou Diarra's clever pass into his path.
Oasauna keeper Ricardo made a couple of decent saves, but he could do nothing to prevent Robinho slotting home from Gonzalo Higuain's cross on 81 minutes.
Sevilla passed up the chance to return to the top of La Liga as they were held at home by Racing Santander.
The home side dominated play for the most part, but were guilty of squandering a number of chances.
Luis Fabiano had a goal disallowed for offside, while substitute Duda fired wide from eight yards.
Atletico Madrid claimed a 1-0 win at Villarreal. Fabiano Eller scored the only goal of the game on 32 mintues, while Fernando Torres missed a late penalty for Atletico and Villarreal had Robert Pires sent off.
Mallorca eased away from the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over Getafe which came courtesy of a Jose Nunes strike just after the hour and a late goal from Oscar Trejo.
Deportivo La Coruna heaped more misery on basement boys Gimnastic de Tarragona with a 1-0 win at the Riazor. Iago Iglesias scored the only goal on 58 minutes.
Ferran Corominas' goal on the hour was enough to hand Espanyol a 1-0 win over struggling Real Sociedad.
Struggling Levante were thwarted in their quest for victory by a late goal by Real Betis. Ianki Descarga fired Levante ahead in the first half, but Robert's goal on 81 minutes rescued a point for Betis.
Recreativo De Huelva boosted their hopes of claiming a Uefa Cup berth by beating Celta Vigo 4-2.
Jesus Vazquez fired Recre ahead on 37 minutes, but they were pegged back on 75 minutes by Nene.
Laurentiu Rosu turned the game in Recre's favour with goals on 86 and 88 minutes. Nene grabbed a second in injury-time, but Cheli secured victory with a late fourth.
Click below for a match summary:
Deportivo La Coruna v Gimnastic
Espanyol v Real Sociedad
Levante v Real Betis
Mallorca v Getafe
Real Madrid v Osasuna
Recreativo Huelva v Celta Vigo
Sevilla v Racing Santander
Villarreal v Atletico Madrid