MADRID: Barcelona failed to close the gap on LaLiga leaders Real Madrid as they were beaten 2-0 at Malaga, where Brazil forward Neymar was sent off.
A late equaliser from Antoine Griezmann had earlier secured Atletico Madrid a 1-1 draw at their city rivals, which opened the door for Barcelona to move above Real at the top of the table on goal difference.
However, Malaga produced a battling display as Jose Miguel Gonzalez’s men secured a second successive victory to move them further away from the relegation scrap.
Sandro netted on the break against his former club, with substitute Rodriguez Jony adding a late second after Neymar had seen red after picking up a needless second caution.
As a result, it was Real who edged three points clear with a match still in hand ahead of El Clasico on April 23.
In Saturday’s afternoon kick-off, Real had looked to have taken another significant step towards their first LaLiga title in five years when Pepe headed them in front in the 52nd minute with only his second goal of the season.
But Atletico, who had won the corresponding fixture at the Bernabeu for the last three seasons, refused to roll over and star striker Griezmann salvaged a point five minutes from time.
Sevilla were celebrating victory for the first time in over a month after beating Deportivo La Coruna 4-2.
In ITALY Gonzalo Higuain was the hero again as Juventus took another step towards the Serie A title with a 2-0 victory over Chievo while, in GERMANY Bayern Munich were in dominant form as they brushed aside Borussia Dortmund 4-1 to move step closer to securing the Bundesliga title.