Real Madrid CF fought back to win 3-2 at Málaga CF but Club Atlético de Madrid's unbeaten run at home ended in Saturday's games in the Primera División.
Trailing to goals from Kiki Musampa and Julio César Dely Valdéz at half-time, Vicente del Bosque's Madrid side mounted a second-half fightback, with Zinedine Zidane and Raúl González levelling the scores before Luis Figo scored the winner from the penalty spot after 79 minutes.
Atlético, meanwhile, were made to pay heavily for defensive errors as they slipped to a surprise defeat with winger Pedro Munitis and former Atlético striker Javi Guerrero making the most of lapses to claim two neatly-taken goals.
Munitis raced clear after a misunderstanding in the Atlético defence and coolly guided a left-foot shot beyond goalkeeper Esteban two minutes before half-time. Atlético hit back early in the second half when substitute Emerson headed home a Cosmin Contra free-kick at the near post on 52 minutes, but Racing cashed in on yet another defensive mistake to claim the winner.
As a host of defenders stood watching, Guerrero pounced on a loose ball, darted into the area and curled a neat shot into the corner to give Racing their third win in four games and condemn Atlético to their second defeat in a row.
It was rather less stressful for Athletic Club Bilbao, who scored a goal in each half through Ismael Urzaiz and Joseba Exteberría to overcome Deportivo Alavés 2-0.
Celta in command
Elsewhere, RC Celta de Vigo secured a comfortable 3-1 win against Villarreal CF, with Henrique Catanha and Edu both scorung inside the first ten minutes for the home side. Martin Palermo pulled a goal back for Villarreal before Jesus Jeluli made it 3-1 12 minutes into the second half.
Struggling Sevilla FC overcame the odds to earn a 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano. Reduced to ten men when Fredi was dismissed for a second yellow card in the first half, Sevilla looked destined for defeat, but Marcos Vales's strike in the second half proved to be the only goal of the game.
Barcelona bounce back
In Saturday's late game, FC Barcelona finally got back to winning ways although they were helped as their hosts, RCD Mallorca, hit the self-destruct button. Alvaro Novo and Samuel Eto'o were both dismissed in the space of ten first-half minutes to make the task easier for Luis van Gaal's side, and they duly took full advantage
Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert was the man of the moment, opening the scoring midway through the first half before his fellow countryman Marc Overmars doubled the advantage two minutes before half-time. Kluivert then completed his hat-trick with two goals in the space of three minutes early in the second half.
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