Real Madrid opened up a 7-point lead over FC Barcelona while remaining 6 clear of Sevilla on Saturday as they rode their luck to defeat Sporting Gijon 2-1 in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in the first 18 minutes to put his side 2-0 ahead against a rival struggling in the relegation zone, Real Madrid allowed Sporting into the game.
Carlos Carmona pulled the visitors back before halftime and Duje Cop wasted a magnificent chance to take an unlikely point when he skied a penalty high and wide after a foul on Victor Rodriguez with just 15 minutes remaining.
Despite that miss Sporting kept on pressing and it was Real Madrid on a rainy afternoon who were the side asking for the final whistle.
Sevilla recovered from their midweek defeat in the Champions League with a 2-1 home win over Valencia thanks to an own goal from Ezequiel Garay and a shot from Nico Pareja following a corner 15 minutes from time.
Munir had scored for Valencia 10 minutes earlier to give them hopes of a draw, but Cesare Prandelli’s side will have to keep on struggling at the wrong end of the Primera Liga table.
Malaga claimed a record equaling fifth successive home win as they won a crazy game 4-3 at home to Deportivo La Coruna.
Deportivo look an early lead thanks to a Borges penalty, but Michael Santos equalized from the penalty spot before Sandro Ramirez made it 2-1 with an excellent free kick and home fans will have thought it was game over when Santos scored Malaga’s third 10 minutes after the break.
Malaga looked to have things sewn up, but Florin Andone scored a header to give Malaga hope and an error from Carlos Kameni saw Borges equalize in the closing minutes.
The game looked destined for a draw, but youngster Ontiveros gave Malaga the win in injury time with an unstoppable 25-yard shot.
Pablo Piatti scored twice as Espanyol upped the pace to claim their first home with of the season with a 3-0 victory over Leganes. A dull game sprang to life with Gerard Moreno’s goal in the 46th minute and Piatti assured the points with his first goal six minutes later and Espanyol’s third with two minutes left on the clock.