Real Madrid scored twice in the final 15 minutes as they came from behind to beat Sporting Gijon 3-1.
The visitors had gone into a shock lead after half an hour when Miguel de Las Cuevas scored from the penalty spot after Sergio Ramos had ended a wonderful run by Oscar Trejo by handling inside the area.
Gonzalo Higuain levelled matters seven minutes later with a free header at the back post and Cristiano Ronaldo finally made all Real's pressure in the second half count 15 minutes from time when he powered home Angel di Maria's cross.
Roberto Canella was then sent off for the visitors for a second bookable offence and the hosts wrapped up all three points when Mesut Ozil's exquisite through-ball was slotted home by Karim Benzema.
The victory temporarily put Madrid seven points clear at the top of the table, but Barcelona won 2-1 at Levante later on Saturday night to maintain the pressure.
The defending champions fell behind to a Jose Barkero penalty in the 23rd minute, but Lionel Messi levelled on 64 minutes as he curled home from the edge of the area.
Eight minutes later, Messi added a second. Roberto Botelho pushed substitute Isaac Cuenca to the ground in the box and the referee initially did not point to the spot, only to be convinced otherwise by his assistant. Levante's lengthy protests saw full-back Juanfran booked before Messi powered an unstoppable penalty into the top right corner.