Diego Costa scored twice as Atletico beat Valencia 3-0 at home to go back level on points and goal difference with Barcelona at the summit.
The deadlock was broken just before the hour mark when Costa drove forward from the left wing into the box and took his shot early, with Diego Alves unable to keep it out.
David Villa was replaced by Raul Garcia just after the goal and the former Osasuna player did not take long to get into the game, thumping the ball into the far corner of the goal as he attacked down the right-hand side.
Costa then saw a penalty saved by Alves after he had been fouled by Victor Ruiz, but a few minutes later he won a second penalty, this time after being tripped by Antonio Barragan, and slammed the ball into the top corner.
Athletic Bilbao's Markel Susaeta scored one but then missed a chance to double his tally from the penalty spot as his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Sevilla.
The hosts drew first blood inside five minutes when Jose Antonio Reyes's short corner was helped on by Carlos Bacca to Alberto Moreno on the edge of the box and the midfielder ghosted past a defender before firing in powerfully off the left-hand upright.
Bilbao equalised just two minutes later when Juan Cala's header back to his goalkeeper lacked pace and Gaizka Toquero nipped in to take the ball away from the sprawling Beto before centring for Markel Susaeta to tap in from a yard.
The visitors had the chance to lead at the break after they were awarded a penalty when Bacca handled the ball in the box, but Susaeta's spot-kick was saved by Beto.
Imanol Agirretxe scored twice as Real Sociedad thrashed Real Betis 5-1 to keep the Seville-based club rock bottom in the Primera Division standings.
Sociedad dominated the game, and Agirretxe set the tone when he lobbed the ball over Betis keeper Stephan Andersen to give his side a sixth minute lead.
Betis drew level on 19 minutes when Jorge Molina finished off Alvaro Vadillo's pass before Sociedad took control in the second half.
Jon Ansotegui headed Sociedad into the lead again in the 55th minute before Antoine Griezmann added their third from close range seven minutes later.
Agirretxe notched his second and Sociedad's fourth in the 68th minute with a curling left-footed shot before Xabi Prieto scored from close range with five minutes to go.
Verza missed a penalty for struggling Almeria as they drew 0-0 with Espanyol in Sunday's Primera Division match.
The midfielder blasted the spot-kick over the bar in the 24th minute after Gabriel Torje fouled Suso in the box.