Week 20 of La Liga proved to be the week that Barcelona finally lost their unbeaten record, while Real Madrid hammered Valencia.
Barcelona traveled to face Real Sociedad on Saturday, and it looked like business as usual, with Lionel Messi, and Pedro putting them 2-0 up.
However Chory Castro pulled one back before half time, while in the 2nd half the game turned on its head when Gerard Pique recieved a 2nd yellow card, reducing Barcelona to 10 men.
The red card rattled the Barcelona defence, and a Chory Castro strike, deflected off Mascherano to level the game, at 2-2.
This was the third time that Real Sociedad had faced ten men in as many weeks, but although they failed to win their last two matches, a last minute goal by Imanol Agirretxe gave them the three points.
With Barcelona dropping points it gave Atletico Madrid the chance to close the gap, which they took, winning 2-0 at home to Levante.
He has been linked with a move away from the club, but Adrian Lopez started the game for Atletico, and he gave the home side the lead on 32 minutes.
The 2nd half saw Falcao come off with a hamstring injury, that is likely to see him miss the next three weeks, but it did not cost them in this game, as Koke curled in a brilliant 2nd goal to seal the three points.
The win moved Atletico back to within eight points of Barcelona, and maintained their seven point gap over Real Madrid, who stunned Valencia 5-0 at the Mestalla.
The home side were left shell shocked as Real Madrid netted all five goals before half time, with Cristiano Ronaldo, and Angel Di Maria netting doubles, and Gonzalo Higuain grabbing one.
The game saw Real Madrid back at their best, with Valencia’s defence unable to cope with the wave of attacks that came their way.
Malaga dropped points once again, with the Andalusians drawing 1-1 with struggling Celta Vigo at La Rosaleda.
The home side went ahead through Martin Demichelis, but Celta Vigo equalised through Augusto Fernandez, and could have won itif not for some good goalkeeping from Willy Caballero.
Real Betis couldn’t take advantage of their rivals slip up as they drew 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao, despite taking the lead in the first minute through a Ruben Castro penalty, as a Aduriz goal leveled the game.
Unai Emery’s return to La Liga ended with his Sevilla side drawing 1-1 with Getafe, although Reyes, gave Sevilla the lead, a 40 yard free kick by Adrian Colunga shared the spoils, keeping both mid table.
At the bottom of the table Espanyol kept up their improvement with a comeback 3-2 win over Mallorca in a relegation six pointer.
Simao gave Espanyol the lead, before Gio Dos Santos, and Javi Marquez turned the game on its head, but in the second half a Verdu penalty, and a goal by Baene gave the home side a crucial win.
Elsewhere Valladolid saw off Zaragoza 2-0, Granada beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0, and Osasuna won the battle of the relegation zone against Deportivo 2-1.