By Noah TanFollow @@Noah_Tan
The victory puts Los Blancos six points ahead of Diego Simeone's men, but they are still 11 points behind Barcelona, who were made to wait a little longer to be crowned La Liga champions after they could only draw 2-2 with Athletic Bilbao.
Meanwhile at the other end of the table, Real Zaragoza climbed off the bottom with a 3-2 win over fellow strugglers Real Mallorca, while Celta Vigo beat Levante 1-0.to earn temporary reprieve from the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Rayo Vallecano were held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Osasuna, Granada beat Espanyol 1-0, Malaga edged out Getafe 2-1, and Deportivo La Coruna continued their mini-revival with a hard earned point as they drew 1-1 with Real Betis.
Finally, Sevilla battled to a 1-1 draw with Valladolid and Real Sociedad shocked Valencia 4-2.
Here, FOX Sports picks our best 11 from the latest round of the La Liga. We've gone with a 3-5-2 formation.
GK: Jaime Jimenez (Real Valladolid)
Jimenez, handed a rare start on Sunday, grabbed his opportunity with both hands as he ended Sevilla's dreams of playing European football next season with a series of world class saves to prevent Unai Emery's men from taking all three points. Jimenez may have been beaten by Alvaro Negredo's penalty, but he was simply unbeatable from open play as Jesus Navas, Federico Fazio and Ivan Rakitic all could not find a way past the 32-year-old.
CB: Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad)
Martinez was imperious in the heart of defence for Sociedad and the likes of Roberto Soldado and Ever Banega just could not go past the imposing Spaniard. Calm at the back and strong in the tackle, Martinez even managed to grab a rare goal for himself when he expertly volleyed home on the turn Castro's accurate cross into the box.
CB: Alejandro Arribas (Osasuna)
Arribas has never managed to establish himself as a first-team regular since joining Osasuna in 2012. But the 23-year-old did his chances of securing more regular playing time a world of good with an outstanding showing at the back against former club Rayo on Friday. Brave and strong in the tackle, Arribas often heroically putting his body on the line to prevent Rayo strikers from getting a clear shot on goal and read the game well to make several important interceptions. Arribas also managed to get on the scoresheet when he jumped highest to head home from David Timor's corner.
CB: Pape Diakhate (Granada)
Having played below average in his past few games, Diakhate seems to have made a timely return to form as he put in a superb shift in defence on Sunday. The Senegal international was a rock at the back and made numerous interceptions and timely blocks to prevent Espanyol from really troubling Roberto in the Granada goal.
LW: Chori Castro (Real Sociedad)
Castro has been one of Sociedad's best players this season. The winger, known for his speed and accurate delivery from the flanks, was instrumental in his side's win over Valencia on Sunday. The winger set up his side's first goal when his excellent cross was volleyed in by Martinez, and it was not long before he too got in on the goalscoring act as he applied the finishing touch to a devastating Sociedad counter-attack.
RW: Markel Susaeta (Athletic Bilbao)
Susaeta, linked with a move to Liverpool, caught the eye with an inspirational display against the mighty Barcelona on Saturday. The 25-year-old winger tormented the Blaugrana's defence throughout the game and unsurprisingly fired his side in the lead when he showed great anticipation to run into the box to sweep home Aritz Aduriz cross. Susaeta then played an key role in rescuing a point for his side when his intelligent header set up Ander Herrera to score the equaliser in the dying minutes of the game.
CM: Patrick Ebert (Real Valladolid)
Ebert, one of Valladolid's shining stars this season, proved to be a constant threat to Sevilla on Sunday and very nearly snatched all three points for his side when his superb effort from just inside the area rattled the crossbar. The creative 26-year-old's all-round display in midfield was a marvel to behold, and it was his defence-splitting through pass which set up striker Javi Guerra to open the scoring.
CM: Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao)
While Herrera has struggled for form this season, he remains one of the most hardworking midfielders in the La Liga. The 23-year-old more than makes up for his deficiencies in the technical department with a near unquenchable fighting spirit, and he ended up proving the hero for Bilbao on Saturday as he scored a late equaliser to earn his side a vital point against Barcelona.
AM: Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid)
It would be fair to say Di Maria, one of Real's best players last season, has failed to live up to expectations in the current campaign. But the Argentine international gave everyone a reminder of his talents with a match-winning performance against Atletico on Saturday. Di Maria was the catalyst for majority of his side's attacks and helped set up Los Blancos' first goal when his dangerous free-kick took a wicked deflection of Juanfran's hip which wrong-footed Atletico custodian Thibaut Courtois. The 25-year-old then popped up to score the winning goal midway through the second half when he cut in from the left and fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom far corner of the net.
ST: Imanol Agirretxe (Real Sociedad)
Agirretxe has been at the forefront of Sociedad's recent revival in the league, and the 26-year-old was once more the deciding factor in his side's shock win over Valencia. The striker played an integral part in setting up Castro to score via a low cross following a devastating counter-attack, then made sure his side would pick up all three points with two quick-fire goals near the end of the game.
Agirretxe's first goal was a testament to his composure in front of goal when he calmly slotted the ball in at the far post after a cross from Xabi Prieto, while the Spaniard's second goal showcased his technical quality as he ran the length of the field before brilliantly chipping the ball over Valencia custodian Diego Alves.
ST: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Claims of Barcelona being over-reliant on Messi were strengthened on Saturday after the Argentinian came to the Blaugrana's rescue once again. Despite fielding the likes of Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez, Tito Vilanova's men struggled to compete with Bilbao, and it took the introduction of Messi midway through the second half to change things around.
Messi showed no ill-effects from his recent struggle with a hamstring injury when he found the back of the net just eight minutes after coming on. The 25-year-old received a pass from Thiago, dribbled past three defenders, before clinically placing the ball into the bottom left corner of the net. Three minutes later, Messi turned provider when he cleverly headed Dani Alves' cross into the patch of Sanchez, who made no mistake from a few yards out.