Second-placed Atletico Madrid failed to fully capitalise on yesterday's Clasico defeat for Primera Division leaders Barcelona as they were held to a goalless draw at Malaga this evening.
Los Rojiblancos could have cut the points gap to single figures, following Barca's 2-1 reverse at Real Madrid, had they managed to overcome Malaga.
But the fourth-placed hosts proved tricky opposition and just about held their own to claim a point which kept their own Champions League aspirations on track.
Dorlan Pabon scored twice as Real Betis held off Real Sociedad's fightback to secure a 3-3 draw in a freewheeling encounter at Estadio Anoeta.
Jorge Molina gave Betis a half-time lead after Antoine Griezmann's brilliant strike was disallowed at the other end, and Pabon doubled the lead early in the second half.
Sociedad roared back with three goals in 11 minutes from Carlos Vela, Inigo Martinez and Xabi Prieto, the latter with a penalty, but Pabon's second secured a deserved share of the spoils for Betis.
Real Mallorca snatched a late 2-1 win at Granada - their first league victory in 10 matches.
The hosts took an early lead through Nolito but Alfaro levelled soon after, before a last-gasp header by substitute Tomer Hemed gave the visitors all three points and their first win of 2013.
Espanyol and Real Valladolid played out a dull goalless draw at the Cornella-El Prat in a game where excitement and chances were in short supply.
Valladolid got the point they would have wanted from the clash but Javier Aguirre's side would have left disappointed after previously picking up 16 of a possible 18 home points since the Mexican replaced Mauricio Pochettino at the helm.