MADRID, March 10 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona extended their lead at the top of the BBVA Primera Liga to 13 points in Spain's matchday 27.
Barca's 2-0 win at home to bottom of the table Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday coupled with Atletico's Madrid's 1-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad and Real Madrid's 2-1 win away to Celta Vigo, saw Real Madrid overtake their neighbors in the league table to emerge as Barca's main challengers for the title.
Barcelona rested key players for their game against Deportivo as they look to prepare for Tuesday's Champions League tie at home to AC Milan and the result was a flat performance enlivened only by a goal from Alexis Sanchez and a lovely late goal from Leo Messi, who has now scored in his last 17 league appearances.
Real Madrid win away in Vigo against a Celta side who have slipped to second from bottom of the table, thanks to two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo sandwiched around a strike from Celta's Iago Aspes.
Madrid were not at their best, but were too good for Celta, although the final minutes saw both sides miss good chances to add to the score.
Finally Real Sociedad gave their hopes of Champions League a huge boost as they won 1-0 away to Atletico. It was the first home defeat of the season for Diego Simeone's side and came just five days after he signed a new five year deal at the club.
Xabi Prieto scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, breaking from midfield and keeping his nerve to score with a low shot.
Sunday also saw Iker Muniain's first goal of the season give Athletic Club Bilbao an important home win against a Valencia side that missed enough chances in the second half to have won the game.
The win lifts Athletic comfortably clear of the relegation zone, while denting Valencia's hopes of a top four finish.
Levante and Getafe drew 0-0 in the Ciudad de Valencia Stadium, but Levante can feel hard done to after a late free kick from Vicente Iborra clearly bounced over the Getafe goal-line.
Rayo Vallecano keep hopes of qualifying for Europe alive on Saturday with a solid 2-0 win at home to Espanyol. Chori Dominguez opened the scoring after nine minutes and Piti assured the points 13 minutes from time.
The closing minutes saw Rayo duo Javi Fuego and Leo Baptistao force bookings that mean they will be suspended for next weekend's trip to play Barcelona.
Valladolid and Malaga shared the points following a 1-1 draw in a rainy Nuevo Zorrilla Stadium as Martin Demichelis' opener for Malaga was cancelled out by Manucho's eighth league goal of the season.
Mallorca meanwhile gave themselves a great chance of avoiding relegation as two goals from Alejandro Alfaro against his former club gave them a 2-1 win at home to Sevilla. The win, which harms Sevilla's slim chances of playing in Europe next season, means Mallorca have taken six points from their last two games.
The round of matches ends on Monday when Zaragoza, who have not won in 2013, play at home to fellow strugglers, Granada.