Diego Costa and David Villa both scored penalties to give Atletico Madrid a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Granada, which means Diego Simeone's side stay one point behind league leaders Barcelona.
Costa converted from the spot seven minutes before half-time after Diego Mainz had clattered into the back of Villa.
The former Barcelona striker also won the second penalty and this time took the spot-kick himself, sending Granada goalkeeper Roberto the wrong way.
The hosts were allowed back into the game when Atleti full-back Filipe Luis was sent off in the closing minutes, and Odion Ighalo got a goal back in the first minute of injury time to set up a tense finish for Los Rojiblancos, but in the end they held on.
Ten-man Villarreal slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to Getafe.
Ciprian Marica's early goal got Getafe off to the ideal start and their cause was further helped by a 39th-minute red card for defender Pablo Iniguez for a foul on Marica.
The Yellow Submarine regrouped and had chances to get back on level terms, but they were finally sunk two minutes into injury time when substitute Pablo Sarabia added a second.
The win moved Getafe, who have now won five of their last six in the league, to within a point of their opponents.
Athletic Bilbao clawed back a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Elche. David Rodriguez Lomban and Aaron had the visitors cruising early in the second half, but Aritz Aduriz and Markel Susaeta secured a share of the points for Athletic.
In the evening's final game, Real Betis and Levante played out a scoreless draw.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report