Zinedine Zidane scored twice as Real Madrid CF moved eight points clear of Valencia CF at the top.
A Zinedine Zidane-inspired Real Madrid CF moved eight points clear at the top of the Primera División after they came from behind to secure a 4-2 victory over RC Celta de Vigo at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Sasa Ilic opened the scoring for Celta before Madrid hit back in the second half through the gifted attacking trio of Ronaldo, Zidane and Luís Figo. Striker Savo Milosevic ensured a nervous finish as he scored a late consolation for Radomir Antic's side, but Zidane struck again to ensure the points. With Valencia CF losing at lowly RCD Espanyol and RC Deportivo La Coruña succumbing 3-2 at home to FC Barcelona, Real Madrid's victory puts them in the driving seat in their battle to retain the title.
Barcelona were again inspired by Brazilian forward Ronaldinho as they held off a late Deportivo rally to maintain their impressive run of form. Ronaldinho scored either side of Javier Saviola's effort to put the visitors three goals up by the 49th-minute, only for Walter Pandiani to pull two goals back and ensure a frantic finish in which Barcelona's Thiago Motta was dismissed.
Striker Raúl Tamudo was RCD Espanyol's hero as the Barcelona-based side subjected Valencia to a morale-sapping 2-1 defeat at a snowy Olímpico. Tamudo opened the scoring after 39 minutes, before doubling the lead on 76 minutes. Mista pulled one back with a header two minutes later, but the hosts held on to put a severe dent in Valencia's title aspirations.
Málaga CF were indebted to Salva Ballesta, as the former Valencia striker scored the only goal in their clash with Racing Santander, while ten-man RCD Mallorca were left heartbroken as Club Atlético de Madrid claimed a 1-0 stoppage-time victory through the excellent Fernando Torres.
Club Atlético Osasuna claimed a 1-0 win at Real Murcia CF thanks to Pierro Webo's 31st-minute strike, and could even afford to miss a penalty - through John Aloisi - in the second half. The result leaves John Toshack's side rooted to the bottom of the table.
Albacete Balompié gained a valuable win in their battle with relegation as they edged out Real Sociedad de Fútbol at the Anoeta, while Jonan García's goal just before half-time gave Atheltic Club Bilbao a 1-0 win against Villarreal CF in their quest for European qualification.
On Saturday, ten-man Sevilla FC saved a point in the Seville derby as they came from a goal down to hold Real Betis Balompié to a 1-1 draw. Alfonso had given Betis the lead after just two minutes with a penalty, before defender Javi Navarro equalised. Sevilla then held on despite having striker Anoñito sent off.
Earlier on Saturday, Real Zaragoza eased their relegation fears with a 2-1 win at ten-man Real Valladolid to leapfrog their opponents and move three points clear of the relegation zone.