A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick and a Karim Benzema double helped Real Madrid record a thumping 7-1 win over Osasuna in a midday kick-off at the Bernabeu. They are now three points clear at the top of the table going into the international break.
In the week he collected the 2010-11 European Golden Boot, Ronaldo racked up his 12th treble in a Real shirt with a pair of headers and a penalty, while second-half substitute Benzema scored goals six and seven. Pepe and Gonzalo Higuain had earlier restored Real's lead after Ibrahima Balde equalised.
Later in the day, Lionel Messi scored in injury time to preserve Barcelona's unbeaten start to the season as they struggled to a 2-2 draw in heavy rain at Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona conceded for the first time in 900 minutes of football and appeared destined for defeat when Gerard Pique's own goal gave Athletic the lead with ten minutes to go.
However, Messi took advantage of a slip from Gorka Iraizoz in a drenched penalty area to lash home a late equaliser. Cesc Fabregas had earlier cancelled out Ander Herrera's opener.
Ten-man Getafe moved six places up the table with a morale-boosting 3-2 victory over Atletico Madrid.
They closed to within three points of their opponents with goals from Abdelaziz Barrada, Michel and a penalty from Gimenez Diego Castro. Getafe, who had started the game bottom of the table, also had defender Alberto Lopo sent off after less than half an hour and were twice pegged back by goals from Radamel Falcao, with a penalty, and Alvaro Dominguez's deflected strike.
A makeshift Villarreal side frustrated Espanyol to come away with a point in a disappointing 0-0 draw in which the hosts finished with ten men.
Villarreal's Marco Ruben had the best chance of the match in the second period but could not direct Hernan Perez's pass into an open goal. Espanyol had Juan Forlin sent off with 15 minutes remaining and the visitors nearly took all three points with the man advantage but Perez and Ruben saw efforts fly just off target.
Rayo Vallecano consigned Real Sociedad to their sixth defeat in seven games with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Las Vallecas.
The game's defining incident came just over ten minutes in when Claudio Bravo made a mess of saving Michu's shot, and Inigo Martinez was adjudged to have pulled back Andrija Delibasic as he tried to pounce on the rebound. Martinez was sent-off and Piti converted the resulting penalty.
Unsurprisingly, with the extra man for 80 minutes, Rayo dominated proceedings for the rest of the match and Michu ended the game as a contest with two fine finishes early in the second-half.
Roberto Trashorras then sealed a perfect day for the hosts with a fantastic bending free-kick from 30 yards that left Bravo helpless.
An injury-time strike from Helder Postiga salvaged a 2-2 draw for Real Zaragoza against Sporting Gijon at La Romareda.
The Aragon side were on the verge of a fourth successive defeat until Postiga pounced. David Barral's brace helped Sporting recover from a goal down after Alberto Botia headed into his own goal in the 28th minute.
Sporting are now unbeaten in four but Manolo Preciado's men could rue these two dropped points come the end of the Primera Division season.
Granada and Racing Santander demonstrated why they have only scored four and six goals respectively in 11 league games this season in a poor goalless draw at Los Carmenes. The hosts did most of the attacking throughout the 90 minutes but lacked the finishing touch on a number of occasions.