Barcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga this season after drawing 2-2 with Celta Vigo at Balaidos on Tuesday. Barca moved 12 points clear at the top, despite putting Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench and having Sergi Roberto sent off inside the final 20 minutes.
The Blaugrana rested players with one eye on Saturday's Copa del Rey final. Their opponents, Sevilla, warmed up with an uninspiring goalless draw away to relegation-threatened Deportivo La Coruna.
The draw meant Sevilla slipped to seventh after Villarreal ended the evening by beating Leganes at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Here are the results from Tuesday's matches:
- Deportivo La Coruna 0-0 Sevilla
- Celta Vigo 2-2 Barcelona
- Villarreal 2-1 Leganes
Here's what those results mean for the updated standings:
1. Barcelona: 33 matches played, +64 goal difference, 83 points
2. Atletico Madrid: 32, +39, 71
3. Real Madrid: 32, +44, 67
4. Valencia: 32, +27, 65
5. Real Betis: 32, 0, 52
6. Villarreal: 33, +5, 51
7. Sevilla: 33, -11, 48
8. Girona: 32, -5, 44
9. Celta Vigo: 33, +6, 44
10. Getafe: 32, +6, 42
11. Real Sociedad: 32, +5, 40
12. Eibar: 32, -10, 40
13. Athletic Bilbao: 32, -3, 39
14. Leganes: 33, -13, 39
15. Alaves: 32, -16, 38
16. Espanyol: 32, -13, 36
17. Levante: 32, -20, 31
18. Deportivo La Coruna: 33, -33, 27
19. Las Palmas: 32, -42, 21
20. Malaga: 32, -30, 17
Full standings are available, per BBC Sport.
Barca took a chance by leaving Messi and Suarez on the bench. Other key figures, such as centre-back Samuel Umtiti and left-back Jordi Alba, were also left out.
It was a weakened team, but ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden pointed out the irony regarding the value of the replacements:
The gamble looked to have paid off when Ousmane Dembele scored with a superb strike nine minutes before the break.
It's the first goal in Spain's top flight for the forward who has endured a tough time with injury since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. Dembele getting on the scoresheet also represented a first of a different kind for the Blaugrana, per OptaJose:
To their credit, the hosts battled back valiantly, drawing level though Jonny on the stroke of halftime. His goal prompted Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde to bring Messi off the bench in place of a subdued Philippe Coutinho on the hour mark.
It took just four minutes for the leaders to go back in front, when Nelson Semedo teed up Paulinho, whose effort appeared to go in off team-mate Paco Alcacer.
Once again though, Celta refused to buckle and soon had a man advantage when Roberto was shown a red card after dragging back Iago Aspas.
The Celta attacker had caused Barca's refreshed defence problems all night, with the Guardian's Sid Lowe full of praise for the former Liverpool man:
Fittingly, it was Aspas who scored Celta's equaliser. The last touch appeared to come off his hand, but the skipper's goal stood to bring up a career milestone, per Sky Sports Statto:
Barcelona's unbeaten run should have been ended in stoppage time, but Lucas Boye missed from close range after being played in thanks to another astute pass from Aspas.
Barca had survived a major scare, but remain in good shape for Saturday's cup final.
Depor needed more than just a point at the Estadio Riazor but couldn't break Sevilla down. The visitors received a strong defensive showing from Argentinian centre-back Gabriel Mercado.
He needed to be in good form because Depor kept the pressure on, with Lucas Perez and Adrian Lopez quick, lively and inventive in the final third. Try as they might, though, the duo couldn't produce the decisive quality.
The stalemate has left Deportivo four points away from safety, with 17th-placed side Levante having played a game less. Sevilla face an identical gap to derby rivals Real Betis, who sit fifth.
Dropped points were compounded for Sevilla when Villarreal took full advantage at home to struggling Leganes. The Yellow Submarine went in front three minutes before the end of the half when Victor Ruiz finished smartly from inside the box.
It was 2-0 10 minutes after the restart when Carlos Bacca produced a typically shrewd finish to beat Ivan Cuellar. Darko Brasanac pulled one back eight minutes from the end, but Leganes couldn't get the equaliser.
Villarreal will welcome three more points in their pursuit of Europe.
Barca are three points closer to the title and will pay close attention to Wednesday's game between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, as well as Atletico Madrid visiting Real Sociedad on Thursday.