By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Real Madrid closed the gap on Barca to nine points following their win over Albacete.Real Madrid closed the gap on Barcelona to nine points following their win over Albacete while the leaders claimed a last-gasp point at home to Real Betis.
Barca were behind late on against ten-man Betis but claimed a precious point thanks to Giovanni van Bronckhorst's stunning injury-time equaliser.
The Catalan giants trailed by two goals entering the final stages at Camp Nou but Samuel Eto'o's second penalty and van Bronckhorst's late strike secured a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Joaquin opened the scoring after 11 minutes, however the home side were back on level terms when Eto'o netted from the penalty spot shortly after.
The visitors were hit by a double blow as David Rivas also saw red for the professional foul on Portugal international Deco in the process.
Despite being a man light Los Verdiblancos regained their lead though Ricardo Oliveira before half time with Joaquin looking to have ended the contest with his second on the hour mark.
However, Frank Rijkaard's men refused to lie down and somehow pulled a draw out of the jaws of defeat with two late goals at Camp Nou.
In the evening clash, rivals Real came from a goal behind to see off Albacete 2-1 with Michael Owen getting on the scoresheet.
Fabio Redondo stunned the visitors when he turned Thomas Gravesen before firing home through the legs of Ivan Helguera and Iker Casillas.
However, Real were not behind for long and Helguera climbed over Mingo from a corner to level the scores with a header just minutes later.
With half time approaching Guti played a pin-point through ball for Owen who controlled the pass before netting past the onrushing Raul Valbuena for the winning goal.
Diego Tristan's goal shortly before half time gave Deportivo La Coruna a 1-0 win over Levante.
Numancia's hopes of retaining their Liga status were dealt another blow following a 1-0 defeat to Sevilla.
The bottom of the table side battled bravely at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan but succumbed to a Claro Adriano Correia goal after 68 minutes.
Malaga and Getafe remain above the drop zone following a 1-1 draw at La Rosaleda.
Fernando Baiano opened the scoring early on, but Victoriano Nano levelled after 31 minutes secure a share of the spoils.
Espanyol's impressive season continued following a 3-1 away success over Racing Santander.
Raul Tamudo's penalty put the visitors ahead, but Yossi Benayoun's goal brought Racing level.
However, Daniel Jarque's goal just before the break proved decisive with Maxi Rodriguez's effort shortly after the interval ending the contest.
Atletico Madrid heaped more pressure on struggling Mallorca with a 4-0 thumping at Vicente Calderon.
Mallorca defended well in the first half and only trailed at the interval thanks to Gonzalo Colsa's goal after 26 minutes.
However, things changed for the worse after the break with Sergio Ballesteros collecting his second yellow with Fernando Torres dispatching the spot-kick.
The visitors were then reduced to nine men when Mark Iuliano was dismissed for receiving two bookings.
Salva Ballesta added the icing to the cake in the closing minutes as he scored twice for the hosts.
Click below for match summaries:
Albacete 1-2 Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid 4-0 Mallorca
Barcelona 3-3 Real Betis
Levante 0-1 Deportivo La Coruna
Malaga 1-1 Getafe
Racing Santander 1-3 Espanyol
Sevilla 1-0 Numancia
Click here for the latest Liga table.