First-half goals from Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil saw Real Madrid claim a 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid but they had to rely on a series of fine saves from Iker Casillas.
Benzema struck his tenth goal in his last eight appearances to put Madrid ahead early on and Ozil added a second before the break to leave Real, who have not lost to Atletico home or away since 1999, in control.
Casillas showed his quality throughout the match and, although Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back for Atletico in the 86th minute to give the hosts hope, it was not enough to deny Jose Mourinho's men.
A stunning Dani Alves strike and a deflected Bojan Krkic effort gave Barcelona a 2-1 victory at home to Getafe.
Alves opened the scoring after 16 minutes with a majestic volley from 22 yards and Bojan added a second goal early in the second period, but the Catalans suffered a few nervy moments at the death after Manu del Moral's late strike gave Getafe brief hope.
Real Zaragoza came back to earth with a bump as they lost 1-0 to Real Mallorca and finished the match with ten men.
Coach Javier Aguirre had warned his players not to get carried away in the wake of their 4-0 thumping of Valencia last weekend, but his warning went unheeded as they suffered a defeat that leaves them looking over their shoulders towards the relegation zone.
Jonathan De Guzman got the goal in the 65th minute.