Real Madrid remain eight points behind Barcelona in the Spanish table as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Real Betis, with Benat Etxebarria scoring the goal in the first half.
Benat netted the game's only goal after 17 minutes as Pepe Mel's side went some way to redeeming themselves after last weekend's 5-1 derby mauling at the hands of Sevilla.
The result left Jose Mourinho's champions in third place in the standings - well adrift of arch rivals Barcelona, who visit Levante on Sunday.
Malaga registered their first league win in five games as they hammered Valencia 4-0 at La Rosaleda.
The margin of victory could have been even greater for the hosts who controlled the game from the off and went ahead just eight minutes in when Francisco Portillo curled home from Eliseu's cut-back.
Joaquin and Javier Saviola squandered a number of chances to increase the lead before the latter made it 2-0 15 minutes from time, a goal that was quickly followed by a third from Roque Santa Cruz.
Valencia were then reduced to 10 men as Adil Rami saw a second yellow card and Isco rounded off a fantastic evening for Malaga with a fourth in stoppage time.
Rayo Vallecano left it very late too see off out-of-form Real Mallorca 2-0 in an awful game on Saturday.
A match utterly devoid of excitement looked headed for a goalless draw until Leo Baptistao broke the deadlock with a goal totally out of keeping with what had gone beforehand, firing home low from 30 yards.
He then turned provider as substitute Andrija Delibasic got a second in the 90th minute to keep the hosts well-placed in the top half and condemn the visitors to a seventh defeat in eight Primera Division games.
Real Valladolid stretched their unbeaten home run to six games as Manucho's second-half strike secured a 1-0 victory over Granada.
The Angolan had come close to breaking the deadlock in the first half with an overhead kick but made no mistake just after the hour when he was played in by Oscar Gonzalez and sent a fierce shot beyond Tono into the top corner.
Tono then did brilliantly to deny the former Manchester United striker a second moments later but Granada could only force Dani Hernandez into one simple save from Floro Flores in their search for an equaliser as they remained just a point above the relegation zone.