Barcelona were devastated to draw 2-2 at Villarreal on Sunday as La Liga's leaders surrendered a two-goal advantage at El Madrigal, meaning they now sit just nine points clear at the summit.
Sunday's draw did see manager Luis Enrique's side extend their Spanish record streak to 39 consecutive matches unbeaten, although failure to beat the Yellow Submarine ended their 13-match winning streak in the league.
Following Atletico Madrid's loss to Sporting Gijon on Saturday, Real capitalised upon a great weekend by routing struggling away outfit Sevilla on Sunday, where Karim Benzema made a triumphant return to fitness.
Athletic Bilbao's hopes of a top-six finish were stunted earlier on Sunday after they dropped to a 2-1 defeat at in-form Espanyol, while Gary Neville's Valencia fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Celta Vigo.
Read on for a roundup of Sunday's Primera Division scores and a look to La Liga's standings after Week 30 of the competition.
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A Jeremy Mathieu own goal prevented Barcelona from collecting all three points at El Madrigal on Sunday, where the Blaugrana failed to build on a 2-0 half-time lead and missed their chance to climb 11 points clear of Atletico Madrid.
Juan Manuel Diaz of Spanish daily Sport chronicled the series of poor refereeing decisions that marred the contest, but Ivan Rakitic and Neymar nevertheless fired the travelling team into a comfortable 2-0 lead at the interval.
Rakitic was quickest to latch onto a rebounded set piece as he fired Barca ahead after 20 minutes, and the Blaugrana extended their lead under controversial circumstances when Neymar was awarded a penalty after allegedly being fouled prior to half-time.
Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu netted his fifth goal in four games to get Marcelino Garcia Toral's men back on the board after 57 minutes, and Mathieu was unfortunate to tip the ball into his own net from a corner just six minutes later.
BBC Sport's Andy West pointed out the sharing of the spoils as a fair result, and one would be inclined to agree after Neymar was awarded his 41st-minute penalty despite Villarreal keeper Sergio Asenjo getting his hands on the ball:
Bravo Villarreal. Excellent performance and fully deserved point. Right result in the end despite the worst efforts of the ref.— Andy West (@andywest01) March 20, 2016
Barca's unbeaten run lives on, but Sunday's draw seeded a slight seed of doubt regarding their La Liga title defence.
Los Blancos delighted in Barcelona misery and climbed to within a point of second-placed Atleti thanks to their 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla, where Benzema opened the scoring after just six minutes, per Sky Sports La Liga:
Cristiano Ronaldo missed from the penalty sport but returned minutes later to double Real's lead before Bale bagged his 43rd La Liga goal for Los Blancos since arriving at the club in 2013.
This figure puts the Welshman ahead of all other British and Irish players to have scored in the Spanish top flight:
Substitute Jese Rodriguez added fourth with just minutes to go, and Sevilla's search for a first away win of the season endured while Real revived kept their title fire burning thanks to a fourth consecutive league win.
Later on Sunday evening, Valencia boss Neville suffered a third consecutive home defeat at the hands of Celta Vigo, and Bet365 provided a rundown of Los Che's form at the Mestalla in recent months:
Valencia’s updated home form in La Liga:— bet365 (@bet365) March 20, 2016
Valencia were en route to a 0-0 draw before conceding twice in the final 10 minutes, with John Guidetti and Hugo Mallo bagging in the 80th and 84th minutes, respectively.
According to West, there were audible chants around the Mestalla for struggling boss Neville to leave the club, having struggled to string together much by way of consistency during his reign at the helm:
Valencia lose again, 2-0 at home to Celta. Lots of chants for Neville to go. There's a club which wishes the season could end tomorrow.— Andy West (@andywest01) March 20, 2016
Valencia remain sat in 14th with eight games remaining, with the club sitting just six points off the bottom, while three points puts Celta back in the top six following Athletic's Sunday defeat.
Espanyol masterminded a comeback of their own after going a goal down to Athletic on Sunday, with Pape Diop and Felipe Caicedo scoring within three minutes of one another to turn the tie around, per One Football:
Eraso's 20th-minute opener set manager Ernesto Valverde's men on course for their third consecutive away triumph, but their lull not long after the restart was all Espanyol needed to rescue a maximum-points haul.
That result brought an end to Los Leones' four-match winning streak in La Liga, while three points moves Espanyol back within sight of the top half of the table, currently sitting in 12th spot.