Sevilla are just a point behind Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, while defending champions Barcelona are a point further adrift in the La Liga standings
While Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad 1-0, Atletico Madrid came out on the winning side, beating Eibar 3-0 in Copa del Rey.
Lionel Messi scored a free kick winner in the second leg of Barcelona's Copa Del Rey tie against Athletic Bilbao to send the Catalan club into the quarters
Barcelona lost their opening game of the year at Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey on Thursday and now trail Real Madrid by five points having also played a game more.
Athletic Bilbao played a man down from the 74th minute, and two men down from the 80th because of red cards in a drama-filled first-leg match against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey round of 16
It has been quite a compelling year for football. From Leicester City's remarkable Premier League triumph to Portugal's unprecedented Euro 2016 win, it was a year full of surprises.
Andres Iniesta is second behind only former teammate Xavi Hernandez as the player to have made most appearances for Barcelona
Neymar said that he is not bothered about not being named for the FIFA Ballon d'or award and plays football to be happy and not for individual honours.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has put Argentine Lionel Messi ahead of Portuguese rival Cristiano Ronaldo, adding there cannot be any doubt on the long-standing debate.
After extending the contracts of Neymar and Luis Suarez until 2021, Barca are desperate to keep hold of the five-time World Player of the Year, Lionel Messi whose deal expires in 2018.
Lionel Messi created Barcelona's third as well for Jordi Alba before David Lopez pulled a goal back for Espanyol as their 10-game unbeaten run came to an end.
The star wedding will most likely be held in Lionel Messi's native Argentina, where he met Antonella Roccuzzo when they were both youngsters
The world took note of Murtaza Ahmadi after a picture of him, wearing a shirt made from a striped blue plastic bag with Lionel Messi's number 10 written on the back, became viral.
The fourth Ballon d'Or is Cristiano Ronaldo's reward for being on the winning side in the Champions League with Real Madrid and captaining Portugal to a first international trophy at Euro 2016
For Cristiano Ronaldo, the Ballon d'Or was the perfect ending to another fantastic year. He helped Real Madrid win the Champions League for the second time in three seasons and then led Portugal to their first major title at Euro 2016
The plane was the same British Aerospace 146 Avro RJ85 jet operated by Bolivia-based charter company LaMia that later crashed in Colombia, killing 71 people, including most of a Brazilian soccer team.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann have been nominated for FIFA World Player of the Year Award
Real Madrid have won 15 more points in all in La Liga under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane since the sides last met in April and are riding a 31-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Barca are off to their worst league start in nine seasons.