MADRID, Spain- FC Barcelona are a massive 16 points clear of defending champions Real Madrid, who were held to a 2-2 draw away at Celta Vigo despite a brace from Gareth Bale, keeping them fourth.
Madrid were without the injured Sergio Ramos and the suspended Dani Carvajal in Vigo and their makeshift defence was exposed when Daniel Wass put the hosts ahead in the 33rd minute.
The Dane was afforded acres of space although his chipped finish over Keylor Navas from the edge of the box was still a delight.
With Karim Benzema injured, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo started together for the first time since late September.
And it was Bale who quickly turned the game around, slotting home from a fine weighted pass by Toni Kroos in the 36th minute and then beating the offside trap to prod in an Isco pass two minutes later.
However, Celta fought back after the break to claim a deserved point.
Iago Aspas saw a 72nd-minute penalty saved by Navas after he had been fouled by the Costa Rican goalkeeper, but Maxi Gomez rose unmarked to head in a Wass cross eight minutes from time.
Zinedine Zidane’s side do still have a game in hand on the sides above them but they are now only one point further away from the relegation zone than they are from Barcelona.
Second-placed Atletico beat Getafe 2-0 on Saturday, with Diego Costa scoring and then being sent off in his first league appearance since returning to the club from Chelsea.
Valencia are 11 points behind Barcelona in third after coming from behind to beat Girona 2-1 at Mestalla on Saturday.