Angel Lafita stunned the hosts after just 11 minutes but Madrid redeemed themselves thanks to goals from Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.
Barcelona found themselves further away from their hated rivals after they could only muster a 0-0 stalemate at Villarreal.
We take a look at the players who shone in last weekend's action and whom deserve a place in our Spanish La Liga Team of the Week.
By Sham Majid
GK: Diego Lopez (Villarreal)
Any custodian who can keep a clean sheet against Barcelona will most likely have been tested to the limit and Villarreal's Lopez was no different. The goalkeeper was called into action as early as in the third minute when he foiled a Dani Alves effort but it was only in the second half that Lopez demonstrated his true worth.
A deflected Cesc Fabregas strike in the 78th minute looked certain to nestle into the back of the net but Lopez somehow readjusted himself to tip the shot brilliantly against the bar. Lopez then rounded off a magnificent evening with just five minutes left when he blocked a Lionel Messi effort when the Argentine was in a one-on-one situation against the former.
LB: Eric Abidal (Barcelona)
Barcelona were on the back foot on certain occasions against the "Yellow Submarine" and left-back Abidal was instrumental in ensuring Barca left El Madrigal with at least a point. The Frenchman defended stoutly against Villarreal's offensive forays and he rescued the Catalans from certain defeat when he blocked a shot from Jose Luis Joselu after Javier Mascherano had cleared away a misdirected Gerard Pique header.
RB: Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Defender Godin was a menacing presence during his side's away clash against Osasuna. He defended stoutly against any Osasuna attacks and even popped up with the winner for Atletico Madrid in the 41st minute when he slammed home an effort from close range to hand the Los Rojiblancos only their second away triumph of the season and push them up to a respectable seventh place in the La Liga standings.
CB: Gonzalo Rodriguez (Villarreal)
Argentine central defender Rodriguez was a colossal figure for Villarreal during their surprise 0-0 stalemate with Barcelona. The no-nonsense marker put his body on the line on numerous occasions against a Barca outfit desperate for all three points in order to keep up with La Liga leaders Real Madrid.
Although Pep Guardiola's charges pounded the Villarreal goal especially in the second half, Rodriguez kept his composure and marshaled his back-four superbly against Lionel Messi and Co. In fact, Rodriguez could have nicked all three points for the hosts when he majestically headed home from a corner in the first half but he was deemed to be in an offside position.
CB: Weligton (Malaga)
Centre-back Weligton was a pivotal figure for Malaga during their 2-1 win against Sevilla. He drew first blood for the home side in the seventh minute when he expertly guided a header into the net after connecting with a Santi Cazorla free kick. He then personified Malaga's dogged defending when he made some important interceptions to deny the Andalusians from netting an equalizer as the home side stole all three points.
CM: Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)
German schemer Ozil was at his imperious best, notching a goal and assist as Real Madrid recovered from an early shock to claim a comfortable 3-1 victory against Real Zaragoza. The former Werder Bremen playmaker first whipped in a delicious-looking cross from the right which Cristiano Ronaldo duly profited from, as the Portuguese made it 2-1 to Madrid. Ozil capped off a superb performance when he netted his side's third goal, sending a left-footed rocket into the Zaragoza net after neat interplay between Esteban Granero and Kaka.
RM: Carlos Martins (Granada)
Granada midfielder Martins was in inspired form against Real Betis as he tormented the latter with his direct running and enterprise. He first provided the assist for Granada's first goal when he put through Odion Ighalo to make it 1-0. Martins then nearly doubled his side's advantage when he let fly with a powerful effort but his attempt was matched by Betis custodian Espinosa Casto. But the pacy midfielder soon registered his name onto the score sheet when he slotted home from a Franco Jara pass to hand new Granada manager Abel Resino a first league win.
LM: Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad)
Precocious Frenchman Griezmann is fast becoming one of the hottest properties in La Liga and he once again personified his credentials with a scintillating display as Real Sociedad tore Sporting Gijon apart 5-1. Griezmann's peach of a cross was converted by David Zurutuza to make it 1-0 and although Griezmann himself scored his side's fifth goal after he rounded the goalkeeper to slot home, he mercilessly toyed with a hapless Sporting defence throughout the encounter with his skills and pace.
FW: Dani Guiza (Getafe)
Having not hit the target for a staggering three months, former Spanish international Guiza finally erased that unwanted record in the 32nd minute when he nicked the ball past Levante goalkeeper Gustavo Munua to ensure Getafe took the lead. Guiza's worth to the team was further epitomized when he found himself on a one-on-one situation with Munua and although his effort was foiled by the goalkeeper, Diego Castro was one hand to hand Getafe all three points and their fourth win in six La Liga games
FW: Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)
Lanky forward Llorente was absolutely unplayable against Rayo Vallecano as he netted a stunning hat-trick to ensure the Basque outfit earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory against the hosts. Llorente first headed home from a Inigo Perez free-kick but his second goal was anything but routine. Having expertly taken down a long ball on his chest, he then turned defender Mikel Labaka before unleashing a corker of a strike into the corner of the net. The Spain striker raided all three points for the visitors when he guided an unstoppable header into the corner of the net to ensure Bilbao posted their third away victory of the season.
FW: Aritz Aduriz (Valencia)
Substitute Aduriz was Valencia's savior during their 2-2 draw with Racing Santander as he came off the bench to grab a brace for Unai Emery's men. The forward first slammed home from a brilliant Tino Costa corner-kick delivery before netting his second after heading the rebound in from a Ricardo Costa shot. Alas, Valencia could not hold on for a win, but Aduriz certainly further staked his claim for a regular first team slot.