No-one is determined to let up in La Liga's finals stages. There are just six "finals" left to decide the La Liga race and the pursuing pack; Barcelona and Real Madrid kept up the pressure behind leaders Atletico Madrid by winning their games – even with the Champions League's psychological baggage.
Atletico played difficult opposition Villarreal at the Vicente Calderon and Diego Simeone's side was made to sweat for the three points. However, the leaders took the honours and won with a controversial goal from Raul Garcia after a Koke corner-kick – Villarreal thought the goal should have been disallowed as Garcia had pushed Mario Gaspar in the back.
Atletico failed to create many opportunities as top scorers Diego Costa and Arda Turan were injured with Gabi suspended. Simeone had to put together a makeshift starting line-up, with Cristian Rodriguez, Diego and Mario Suarez as starters.
The one match that did not disappoint was the one between Barcelona and bottom side Real Betis at the Camp Nou. The Andalusians came with the need to pick up vital points to avoid the drop and even though they showed a lot of fire despite being eight points adrift at the bottom of La Liga, the Catalans earned a laboured 3-1 victory with Leo Messi scoring twice.
The two penalties decided the game and helped Barca to victory with the own goal from Jordi.
Tata Martino's side stayed a point behind Atletico with six matches left including a clash between the sides at the Camp Nou on the final day of the season.
Real Madrid, who travelled to San Sebastian to face form side Real Sociedad, showed they have sufficient resources in the climax to the season. Without Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlo Ancelotti's side cruised to a 4-0 win at Anoeta, staying within three points of Atletico, in third place.
Gareth Bale's brilliant goal helped make sure Real did not miss their Portuguese talisman. Asier Illarramendi, Pepe and Alvaro Morata scored the rest of the goals for Los Blancos.
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Villarreal
Barcelona 3-1 Betis
Real Sociedad 0-4 Real Madrid
Malaga 4-1 Granada
Elche 1-0 Getafe
Sevilla 4-1 Espanyol
Valladolid 0-0 Valencia
Rayo 3-0 Celta
Almeria 1-2 Osasuna
Levante - Athletic (Monday-22:00)