Real Madrid seized an early advantage in the Spanish league by beating Getafe 4-2 on Saturday after Barcelona squandered an early lead to draw 2-2 at Real Sociedad.
Barcelona was up 2-0 after just 12 minutes as Xavi Hernandez and Cesc Fabregas struck early for the defending champion, which dominated the first half. But with Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta resting for Tuesday's Champions League game against AC Milan, Imanol Agirretxe and Antoine Griezmann equalized for Sociedad with two goals in as many minutes in the second half.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola sent on Messi and Iniesta in search for the winner, but goalkeeper Claudio Bravo smothered Messi's best chance inside the area with 15 minutes to play.
"Two defensive lapses, two errors that cost us dearly," Xavi said. "That's football. The game was under control and we could have even sealed the win with a third goal."
Madrid took full advantage, with Karim Benzema scoring twice against Getafe.
The France striker gave Madrid the lead in the 14th, before Getafe's Nicolas "Miku" Fedor equalized in an evenly matched first half at Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty and Benzema's second goal then threatened to spark a Madrid rout after the break, but Miku scored again to keep the game in doubt until Gonzalo Higuain sealed Madrid's victory late. Madrid leads the Spanish league standings with six points- two more than Barcelona.
After Madrid and Barcelona outscored their opponents 11-0 in week one, many in Spain worried the gap between the two powerhouses would be greater than ever this season.
But Getafe did not shrink against its bigger crosstown rivals, and Sociedad knew how to take advantage of Barcelona's defensive mistakes to snatch an unexpected result.
"If they earned a draw it is because they played well," Guardiola said. "We have to break with this trendy topic of La Liga only being a question of two teams."
In a rare occurrence, Madrid coach Jose Mourinho agreed with his counterpart.
"Maybe we were a little drunk after so much information that this league is easy," Mourinho said.
Madrid started strong as Mesut Oezil laid off for Benzema to pick his spot from the center of the area and slot into the right side of the net in the 14th, but Miku beat goalie Iker Casillas with a low strike in the 39th to draw Getafe even.
Ronaldo converted from the penalty spot in the 60th after the referee ruled that Cata Diaz fouled the Portuguese forward in the area. Replays showed the foul took place outside the penalty box.
"It wasn't a penalty but we would have won anyway because we were dominating despite the fact that Getafe played a good game and my team did not," said Mourinho. "I believe the goal was going to arrive eventually."
Ronaldo found Benzema in the 69th with a long diagonal pass that the striker shot under 'keeper Miguel Moya.
Getafe did not fold, however, and in the 73rd Miku controlled a rebound in the area, cut back to his left foot and slotted past Casillas.
Getafe's first-year coach Luis Garcia was sent off for protesting a foul before Higuain came on to cap Madrid's second league win in the 88th.
At Anoeta stadium, Fabregas picked out Alexis Sanchez breaking behind the defense and the Chile forward slid a pass across for Xavi to volley in from close range in the 10th.
Seconds later it was Xavi's turn to find Fabregas sprinting free. The former Arsenal captain slipped the ball across to Pedro Rodriguez, whose timid shot was blocked by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and Fabregas was quick to pounce and fire into the top of the net.
David Villa substituted Sanchez at the half hour mark when the former Udinese player tore his right thigh. The club said he will be out for six to eight weeks.
"Barcelona can be beat, but never playing like we did in the first half," said coach Philippe Montanier, whose Sociedad was the better team after the break in his home debut.
Agirretxe rose above his marker to head in Xabi Prieto's short cross in the 60th for his third goal of the young season.
Moments later, Villa erred in his back pass that fell to Agirretxe. The Basque striker rounded goalkeeper Victor Valdes only to hit the crossbar, but French winger Antoine Griezmann rushed in to head in the rebound.
Also, Roberto Soldado's second-half header gave Valencia a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, spoiling the debut of Colombia striker Radamel Falcao and Brazilian midfielder Diego with the Spanish capital team.
Earlier, 10-man Villarreal drew 2-2 with Sevilla.
On Sunday, it's: Espanyol vs. Athletic Bilbao, Betis vs. Mallorca, Racing Santander vs. Levante, Osasuna vs. Sporting Gijon, and Rayo Vallecano vs. Zaragoza.
Malaga is at Granada on Monday.