Levante's remarkable start to the season continued as they moved back level on points with Barcelona thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win over Malaga.
• Saturday's La Liga review
Jose Barkero's deflected shot gave the hosts the perfect start after 13 minutes and things went from bad to worse for the visitors after half an hour.
Firstly goalkeeper Willy Caballero was sent off for handling outside the area and then, as the resulting free-kick rebounded off the wall, Juanlu fired the loose ball in for the second.
Arouna Kone scored the third before half-time following a shocking error from substitute keeper Ruben Martinez and Levante should have added to their tally in the second period but Ruben Suarez inexplicably shot over from 10 yards when perfectly placed.
Sevilla moved up to fourth after heaping more misery on winless Sporting Gijon and their under-pressure coach Manuel Preciado with a 2-1 triumph.
The rock-bottom visitors battled hard and had their chances but poor finishing and some fine goalkeeping from Sevilla's Javi Varas kept them at bay.
A stunning opener from Manu del Moral set Sevilla on their way and the Andalucians moved two up courtesy of Martin Caceres' close-range header 12 minutes after half-time.
David Barral pulled one back but Sporting could not find an equaliser and they remain three points adrift at the foot of the standings.
Ndri Romaric scored his first goal for Espanyol and the only goal of the game as the visitors recorded their first away win in 12 matches with a 1-0 success at Rayo Vallecano.
Espanyol had the better of the play throughout but were denied in the first-half by Rayo goalkeeper Dani Gimenez and had a couple of strong penalty claims waved away.
Romaric did eventually put his side in front with a calm finish after he was left all alone inside the area from Juan Forlin's pass. The Ivorian also came closest to adding to the scoreline but his fine drive was turned away by Dani.
Helder Postiga scored twice to consign Real Sociedad to their third consecutive defeat and move 2-0 winners Real Zaragoza into the top half of the table for the first time this season.
The Portuguese striker scored his first goal since joining from Sporting Lisbon with a stunning 11th-minute overhead kick from the edge of the area that flew past Claudio Bravo in the Sociedad goal.
Both sides had chances as the game flowed from end to end in the first-half, but Postiga scored the telling second goal just three minutes into the second period when he collected Leonardo Ponzio's fine through-ball and slotted past Bravo from close range.
Zaragoza's results had improved slightly before the international break after a poor start to the campaign but this was by far their best performance of the season to date as they moved the ball quickly - and in Luis Garcia and Postiga they had two willing and intelligent runners up front.