Luis Suarez continued his goal splurge by scoring four times to help Barcelona stay on top of the Spanish league last night, while Real Madrid needed a stellar performance from Gareth Bale to remain in the title hunt.
Suarez scored his eighth goal in four days to fuel a 6-0 rout of Sporting Gijon. He also scored four in an 8-0 destruction of Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.
Bale netted two goals, including a late winner, to lead Real to a 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano in a match that Cristiano Ronaldo missed through injury. Vallecano had led 2-0 through goals from Embarba and former Celtic striker Miku.
Barcelona remain level on points with Atletico Madrid who defeated Malaga 1-0 at home with a goal from Angel Correa.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone watched most of the game from the stands, having been sent there by the referee following a bizarre first-half incident. Simeone appeared to throw an extra ball on to the pitch during the closing stages of the half, impeding the momentum of the advancing Malaga player Ricardo Horta, who was darting dangerously down the left wing with the hosts outnumbered. Simeone was sent to the stands after a discussion with referee Antonio Mateu.
Third-placed Real Madrid are a point behind Barca and Atletico with three rounds left.
In Germany, Bayern Munich ground out a 2-0 win at Hertha Berlin but Borussia Dortmund kept the Bundesliga title race alive for at least one more week with a 3-0 victory at Stuttgart.
Bayern would have won the title with a win and a Dortmund loss. Bayern can seal an unprecedented fourth title in a row with a win at home against Borussia Moenchengladbach next weekend.
Paris Saint-German won the French League Cup by beating Lille 2-1.