Diego Costa scored twice and missed a penalty as Atletico Madrid won 3-0 at home to Valencia on Sunday to keep pace with Barcelona atop the table.
With the win, Atletico moved onto 43 points. Barcelona and Atletico have identical points totals and goal differentials, but Barca top the table because they have scored one more total goal.
Valencia are ninth with 20 points.
Atletico's unbeaten run in the league now spans seven matches.
After a scoreless first half, Costa put Atletico ahead with a strong run and finish in the 59th minute. Raul Garcia doubled the hosts' lead four minutes later, and Costa made it 3-0 with an 81st-minute penalty.
Costa also missed a penalty in the 74th minute as Diego Alves saved the striker's spot-kick.
Valencia failed to register a shot on target.
On target: 6-0