Goalkeeper Iker Casillas came off the bench for 10-man Real Madrid who needed a second half double from Cristiano Ronaldo to beat Real Sociedad 4-3 while leaders Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 win over Espanyol.
Barcelona, whose goals yesterday came in the first-half against their
city neighbours, remain 16 points clear of their bitter rivals and 12 ahead of second-place Atletico Madrid.
Madrid captain Casillas was left out for the second consecutive game but was called upon after just five minutes following a penalty conceded by his replacement Adan Garrido who was red carded.
Xabi Prieto, who was to grab a hat-trick, scored from the spot-kick to equalise after Karim Benzema had put Madrid ahead in the second minute with Sami Khedira then restoring the lead for Jose Mourinho's side after 35 minutes.