Real Madrid trimmed Barcelona's lead at the top of the Primera Division to 10 points as Gonzalo Higuain scored twice in a 5-2 home win over Real Mallorca.
Barcelona, fresh from its UEFA Champions League mauling of AC Milan, takes on Rayo Vallecano at the Nou Camp on Sunday evening (Monday morning AEDT).
Real Sociedad climbed up to fourth place with a 4-1 win over Real Valladolid.
Two first-half goals by Antoine Griezmann and one from Imanol Agirretxe set Sociedad on the way to victory, and Xabi Prieto rounded off the win when he netted shortly after the re-start.
Valencia nudged its way up to fifth spot, bypassing Real Betis in the process after beating the team from Seville 3-0.
Betis had defender
It did not double the lead until the 85th minute, with Junior Paulao netting an own goal, and Jonas added the third in the dying moments.
The decisive moment came in the seventh minute when the midfielder lashed the ball home after
Spain goalkeeper Jose Reina would welcome a return to Barcelona next northern summer.