Barcelona, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - A goal in each half from Neymar propelled Barcelona to a 2-1 win over Villarreal at the Camp Nou on Saturday, extending Barca's lead over Real Madrid to five points.
With Real being held to a draw earlier in the day at Osasuna, Barca had the chance to extend its lead, while also hoping to move three points clear of second-place Atletico Madrid.
Neymar gave the Catalan side the lead on the half-hour mark when he converted a penalty kick, but Villarreal answered through Mateo Musacchio.
In the absence of Lionel Messi, who is out with an injury, Neymar stepped forward and fired home the winning goal 22 minutes from time, giving him six La Liga goals on the season.
Alex Song nearly handed Barca an early lead, but his volley from close range struck the post.
However, the hosts seized the advantage in the 30th minute when Villarreal's Mario Gaspar was called for a handball inside his own penalty area, allowing Neymar to convert from the spot.
A corner kick shortly after halftime helped the visitors level the contest when Manu Trigueros sent a cross into the area that was powered home by the head of Musacchio.
But the match was settled in the 68th minute with a classy Barcelona move as Cesc Fabregas floated a cross to the back post for Alexis Sanchez, who brought the ball down and squared it to Neymar for a simple finish.
Osasuna 2, Real Madrid 2
Navarra, Spain - Real Madrid came from two goals down with 10 men to salvage a 2-2 draw at Osasuna on Saturday, leaving the club five points adrift of leaders Barcelona.
Oriol Riera scored twice in the first half for Osasuna, while Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos was sent off in the 44th minute.
But Madrid battled back to pull to within 2-1 at halftime through Isco, who also set up the equalizing goal 10 minutes from time for Pepe.
Riera proved difficult to handle for the Madrid defense in the first half and he got free to head home a cross from Marc Bertran.
Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez was only able to parry a header from Damia Abella, allowing Riera to swoop in and nod the ball home for a 2-0 lead in the 39th minute.
Ramos was sent off in the 44th, but Isco scored one minute later to give his side a chance.
Osasuna went down to 10 men in the 79th with a red card for Francisco Silva, and Pepe took advantage shortly after by heading home Isco's free kick.
Granada 2, Rayo Vallecano 0
Madrid, Spain - Granada moved eight points clear of the relegation places on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Rayo Vallecano, which lost for the sixth time at home this season.
Fran Rico fired Granada into the lead after 35 minutes with a well-struck free kick, while Rayo was reduced to 10 men shortly before halftime when Nacho received his second yellow card of the contest for a dive inside the penalty area.
Despite being down a man, Rayo battled bravely for the equalizer, but saw any hopes of a point dashed in the 89th minute when Riki scored on the break, leaving the home side just one point above the drop zone.
Malaga 1, Getafe 0
Malaga, Spain - Roque Santa Cruz provided the difference for Malaga as the team recorded a 1-0 home win over Getafe on Saturday courtesy of a 75th-minute goal from Santa Cruz.
The home side dominated large spells of the game and had two good chances to take the lead in the first half when Vitorino Antunes sent a free kick just past the post for Malaga in the 22nd minute.
Antunes then nearly played provider one minute later when his cross picked out Juanmi, whose close-range shot struck the post.
But the breakthrough finally arrived 15 minutes from time as Santa Cruz got on the other end of a cross from Duda to head the ball into the upper left corner of the net from 10 yards.
Malaga moves five points clear of the drop zone with the victory, while Getafe failed to move into top six with its second league loss in three games.