Gonzalo Higuain scored an 88th-minute winner as Real Madrid came from a goal down to sneak past a gutsy Deportivo La Coruna 2-1 at the Riazor.
The hosts, bottom of the Primera Division, took the attack to a slightly weakened Madrid side, with Luis Pizzi and Riki causing plenty of problems, and the latter broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the interval.
But Madrid emerged energised after half-time and were rewarded when Kaka fired low into the net from just outside the area in the 73rd minute.With the bit between their teeth, Madrid went in search of a winner and found one when Higuain was left with the simplest of tap-ins.
Madrid's night was slightly soured by Angel Di Maria's sending off when he received a second booking for not advancing 10 yards at a set-piece.
Lionel Messi scored for the 15th consecutive La Liga game as Barcelona bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat with a 2-1 victory over Sevilla.
Normal service resumed for Barca on Saturday as a strong second-half display ended with the team going 15 points ahead of Atletico Madrid, who play on Sunday. However, it was Sevilla who took the lead through Alberto Botia in the 42nd minute before two goals in eight minutes turned the game on its head.
David Villa equalised when he nodded home in the 52nd minute on his return from a kidney stone operation before Messi scored his 38th league goal of the season eight minutes later.
Getafe came from behind to beat Real Mallorca 3-1 at the Iberostar stadium with three late goals.
Giovani Dos Santos gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half, but everything changed when Getafe were awarded a controversial penalty with 20 minutes remaining.
Diego Castro scored from the spot to equalise before Adrian Colunga netted twice inside five minutes to condemn Gregorio Manzano's side to back-to-back defeats.
Real Zaragoza missed the chance to increase the gap between them and the sides in the Primera Division relegation zone when they lost a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Valencia.
A penalty by Apono and a headed goal by Helder Postiga gave the Aragon side a two-goal cushion - but it was cancelled out by a double from Jonas and Zaragoza playedthe final 11 minutes of the game with 10 men after goalkeeper Leo Franco was sent off for handling the ball outside his area.