Second-placed Atletico Madrid failed to fully capitalize on Saturday's Clasico defeat for Primera Division leaders Barcelona as it was held to a goalless draw at Malaga.
Los Rojiblancos could have cut the points gap to single figures, following Barca's 2-1 reverse at Real Madrid, had they managed to overcome Malaga.
But the fourth-placed hosts proved tricky opposition and just about held their own to claim a point which kept their own Champions League aspirations on track.
Dorlan Pabon scored twice as Real Betis held off Real Sociedad's fightback to secure a 3-3 draw in a freewheeling encounter at Estadio Anoeta.
Real Mallorca snatched a late 2-1 win at Granada -- its first league victory in 10 matches.
The hosts took an early lead through Nolito but Alfaro levelled soon after, before a last-gasp header by substitute Tomer Hemed gave the visitors all three points and their first win of 2013.
Espanyol and Real Valladolid played out a dull goalless draw at the Cornella-El Prat in a game where excitement and chances were in short supply.
Valladolid got the point they would have wanted from the clash but Javier Aguirre's side would have left disappointed after previously picking up 16 of a possible 18 home points since the Mexican replaced Mauricio Pochettino at the helm.