Karim Benzema bagged a brace as Real Madrid made the most of Barcelona's earlier slip-up at Real Sociedad with an entertaining 4-2 victory against Getafe at the Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo and substitute Gonzalo Higuain were also on target, the former improving his record to 15 goals in his last six league games and eight in four against Getafe with a controversial penalty on the hour mark.
Miku netted a cool double for Getafe but it was not enough to prevent his side slipping to defeat.
Jose Mourinho's side headed into the encounter knowing Barcelona had dropped two points in a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad earlier in the evening.
But Imanol Agirretxe's header changed all that and Antoine Griezmann netted a bizarre equaliser - making good on his pre-match promise to prove his commitment to the club after the collapse of his longed-for summer move to Atletico Madrid.
Villarreal produced a fine performance to claim a point against Sevilla despite being down to 10 men for over an hour of their Primera Division encounter at El Madrigal.
Alvaro Negredo gave the visitors the lead after home goalkeeper Diego Lopez had been sent off for a foul on Diego Perotti. Negredo's penalty was saved by Cesar Sanchez but the striker fired home the rebound.
The Yellow Submarine were awarded a penalty of their own 12 minutes later and Giuseppe Rossi made no mistake from the spot, and then Marco Ruben put the home side ahead with a fine finish 18 minutes from time.
The hosts were denied the three points, though, when Alexis headed home an 87th-minute free-kick.