La Liga: Real Madrid profit as Barcelona and Atletico Madrid drop points
Last Updated: 19/01/14 11:25pm
Lionel Messi: Frustrated against Levante
Real Madrid were the big winners as Primera Division title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid dropped points in damaging stalemates on Sunday.
Madrid, 5-0 winners against Real Betis on Saturday, are now just a point off the top two after Barca were surprisingly held 1-1 at Levante and Atletico drew by the same scoreline against Sevilla at the Vicente Calderon.
Barcelona dropped points for only the fourth time this season after Levante went ahead in the 10th minute through Loukas Vyntra's headed goal.
Barca were quickly back on level terms thanks to Gerard Pique's close-range header nine minutes later, but Levante defended in numbers after that and frustrated their visitors' efforts to grab a winner.
After seeing Barca held in an earlier kick-off, Atletico then passed up a glorious opportunity to go top the pile.
David Villa's goal after 18 minutes put Diego Simeone's side on their way to victory but they failed to build on their lead and were punished when Juanfran brought down Carlos Bacca in the area, allowing Ivan Rakitic to level on 73 minutes.
Villarreal moved into fourth place thanks to a 2-0 victory over struggling Almeria.
Ikechukwu Uche scored the opening goal in the third minute with Bruno Soriano making sure of the win with a late penalty after Jonathan Pereira was brought down by Rafita.
Getafe fought their way back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Real Sociedad and even survived playing the final half-hour with 10 men.
Two headed goals from Imanol Agirretxe gave the Basque side an early lead but the hosts responded with goals by Ciprian Marica and Pedro Leon.
Borja Fernandez was sent off in the second half for picking up two yellow cards but La Real were unable to take advantage.