REAL MADRID closed the gap on Primera Division leaders Barcelona to 13 points after a 2-1 win over a Celta Vigo side who made them work all the way.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a scrappy opener and a winner from the penalty spot, after Iago Aspas' equaliser, to take his tally to 188 goals in 186 appearances for the club.
Celta substitute Park Chu-young headed against the crossbar late on but Real held out for victory.
Real moved to second in the standings above city rivals Atletico Madrid, who were beaten 1-0 at home by Real Sociedad.
Xabi Prieto scored the only goal after 53 minutes to inflict a sixth loss of the season on their opponents.
Iker Muniain scored his first goal of the season as Athletic Bilbao overcame Valencia 1-0 at San Mames to record a victory that eased their fears of being dragged into a relegation fight.
Levante missed the chance to move closer to the Europa League places as Getafe survived a one-sided goalless draw at the Ciutat de Valencia.
Visiting goalkeeper Miguel Moya deserved praise for keeping Robert Acquafresca and Pedro Rios at bay in the first half but in truth, ninth-placed Getafe were lucky to escape with a point.