Real Madrid's irrepressible Sergio Ramos headed them to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Real Betis yesterday as Zinedine Zidane's side capitalised on Barcelona's earlier defeat by Deportivo La Coruna to top the La Liga standings.
A calamitous own-goal from Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas had given Betis the lead in the 25th minute, just after the Costa Rican escaped a possible red card, although Cristiano Ronaldo pulled the home side level in the 41st minute with a diving header.
Betis had defender Cristiano Piccini sent off for a second booking in the 78th minute and three minutes later Ramos nodded in his 10th goal in all competitions this season, adding to his header in the 3-1 win at Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Real lead the standings on 62 points, Barca are second with 60 and Sevilla are third on 57 following a 1-1 draw at home to Leganes on Saturday, while Real have a game in hand on their title rivals.
In Galicia yesterday, former Real Madrid youth trainee Joselu gave Deportivo a deserved lead in the 40th minute after an error from Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, although Luis Suarez restored parity in the 46th minute with a powerful drilled effort.
Depor defender Alex Bergantinos headed Deportivo back in front in the 74th minute and Barca, who were without Neymar through a thigh injury and clearly missed the Brazilian's creative impetus, failed to react.
In Italy, Roma climbed above Napoli into second place in Serie A, and eight points behind leaders Juventus, with a 3-0 win at Palermo last night. Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko and Bruno Peres were on target for the visitors.
Inter Milan moved into fourth spot as Argentinians Mauro Icardi and Ever Banega struck a hat-trick apiece as they destroyed sixth-place Atalanta with a stunning 7-1 rout last night.