Villarreal beat FC Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 in their Europa League first leg match, Uche and Cheryshev scoring for the home side, Soriano converting a penalty for the visitors.
A headed goal from Ronaldo and a right-footed(!) strike from Marcelo saw Real Madrid beat Schalke 04 to give them the advantage for the second leg.
Atlético Madrid slipped up on Sunday, beaten 2-0 by Celta de Vigo, and are now seven points adrift of their city rivals.
In his 300th game in La Liga, Lionel Messi grabbed his 23rd hat-trick as Barcelona beat Levante 5-0 to stay one point behind leaders Real Madrid.
The Blue and Whites appear to be fervent in their determination to avoid the hassle of European football next season, losing 0-2 to Espanyol on Saturday.
Barcelona recorded their 10th consecutive victory as they beat Villarreal 3.1 in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.
Lionel Messi was inspirational, scoring once himself and playing the part of provider for four more as Barcelona moved to within a point of La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 2-5 win at Athletic Bilbao.
Juanmi gave Málaga the lead against Levante on Satyrday evening, but a hat-trick, including two penalties, from Barral and a late goal from Uche turned things around completely.
An underwhelming performance by Real Madrid saw them hammered 4-0 by city rivals Atlético on Saturday, their worst defeat since 2010.
With all the teams now having played the same number of games, Real Madrid lead the way in La Liga by four points after a 2-1 midweek victory over Sevilla.