Cristiano Ronaldo scores as Real Madrid win at Levante, Villarreal held
A depleted Real Madrid side failed to produce a galvanising performance at Levante following their derby defeat to Atletico but still earned a 3-1 win.
Cristiano Ronaldo was their biggest threat although lacked sharpness in front of goal, twice missing the target and once hitting straight at Diego Marino.
But he was able to open the scoring from the penalty spot when Valencia loanee Lucas Orban tripped Lucas Vazquez at the top corner of the area.
His temporary strike partner Borja Mayoral inspired Madrid's next goal, letting fly from the edge of the area and hitting the post, the ball then bouncing off Marino and over the line.
But Levante quickly summoned the strength to get back in the game. Deyverson rose to knock down a long punt upfield and Rossi held the ball up superbly, fighting off Casemiro and Raphael Varane before laying it off to the unmarked Brazilian, who coolly tapped into the near corner.
Ronaldo created the third goal that killed off any hope of a late Levante revival, racing down the right wing and cutting the ball back for Isco to hook first time into the bottom corner.
Villarreal extended their unbeaten league run to 14 matches and remain fourth in La Liga following a 0-0 draw at Celta Vigo.
Cedric Bakambu went closest to breaking the deadlock for Villarreal in the first half but the striker was denied on three occasions by Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez.
Victory could have lifted Villarreal above Real Madrid into third place, before they played Levante, but they will be satisfied after maintaining an 11-point gap between themselves and fifth-placed Celta by staying unbeaten in the league since the end of November.
Spain international Fernando Llorente struck the only goal as Sevilla maintained their impressive home record with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Eibar.
Striker Llorente was on target early to edge Sevilla back to winning ways after Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Barcelona had halted a seven-game unbeaten league run.
Sevilla went ahead with their first shot on target in the 11th minute when Llorente converted Michael Krohn-Dehli's cross for his seventh goal of the season.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men after defender Lillo Castellano's second yellow card in the 88th minute.
Gary Neville's Valencia took advantage of a freakish own goal by home goalkeeper Carlos Kameni to return to winning ways with a 2-1 success at Malaga.
Neville's men had slipped behind to Duje Cop's 14th-minute opener before Kameni completely mis-judged a harmless cross from the left and palmed it into his own net.
His 41st-minute blunder handed Valencia the boost they needed and Denis Cheryshev went on to grab what turned out to be the winner four minutes into the second half.
It was a valuable victory for Neville's men, who had seen their recent improvement in La Liga brought to an abrupt halt by a 3-0 home defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Aritz Aduriz scored a hat trick to take his tally for the season to 30 as Athletic Bilbao cruised to back-to-back league wins by beating Deportivo La Coruna 4-1.
Bilbao took an 11th-minute lead when forward Iker Muniain converted his second goal of the season from close range following Raul Garcia's knock-down.
Aduriz then crashed the ball home from six yards after being set up by midfielder Markel Susaeta.
Deportivo hauled themselves back in it six minutes into the second half when striker Oriel Riera turned home Lucas Perez's cross from close range.
But two minutes later Bilbao regained their two-goal advantage, Aduriz heading home Susaeta's fine ball into the box.
Aduriz completed his hat trick on the hour-mark and put the game beyond Deportivo when he arrowed home a low drive from inside the area.