Nosa Igiebor's first-half goal gave Real Betis a 1-0 win over Villarreal, who suffered their first defeat of the Primera Division season.
Igiebor pounced to slot home the rebound after Joan Verdu's initial shot had been parried in the 37th minute to give Betis just their second win of the campaign.
The Yellow Submarine could have moved above Real Madrid with victory at the Benito Villamarin and although they had a decent claim for a penalty turned down in the closing stages - a decision that led to head coach Marcelino Garcia Toral being sent to the stands - they were second best throughout.
Villarreal were denied an early lead by a fantastic double save from Guillermo Sara, who first kept out Mario Gaspar's close range effort from Manu Trigueros' corner with his feet before Soriano Bruno's rebound effort was tipped away.
It was a let-off for the hosts and they came storming back as Francisco Chica's strike from inside the area was tipped away by visiting custodian Sergio Asenjo.
The on-loan Atletico Madrid goalkeeper was then forced into action from the resulting corner, with Antonio Amaya heading into Asenjo's arms.
However, the home side took the lead eight minutes before half-time through the fast reactions of Nigeria international Igiebor.
Alvaro Vadillo's tame shot was deflected into the path of Verdu and although his shot was parried by Asenjo, Igiebor reacted quickest to slot home the rebound.
Jonathan Pereira had an excellent chance to level before half-time and although the Villarreal striker took the ball past Sara, the Betis goalkeeper managed to gather the ball at the second time of asking.
Igiebor's effort just after the break was well blocked by Mario Gaspar as Betis sought to put the game to bed, while Verdu fired over from 20 yards.
In truth it was a rather more scrappy affair in the second 45 minutes, which featured six bookings, four of which went to the home side.
However, the only dismissal was for Villarreal head coach Garcia Toral, who thought his side should have been awarded a penalty in injury-time after Javier Aquino was felled in the area by Amaya.
Referee Carlos Delgado Ferreiro was unmoved, however, and Garcia Toral's protestations from the touchline ensured he was sent to the stands for the remaining seconds.