La Liga leaders Barcelona edged Villarreal 2-1 at Camp Nou on Saturday, while arch-rivals Real Madrid were held 2-2 at Osasuna.
Real are now five points adrift of Barcelona in third after Neymar's outstanding week continued for the Catalan giants.
The Brazilian forward – who scored a hat-trick in Barca's 6-1 thrashing of Celtic in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday – starred again as Gerardo Martino's side moved three points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who play on Sunday.
Neymar got the hosts going with a 30th-minute penalty, converting successfully after a harsh handball decision against Mario.
Villarreal enjoyed good spells and levelled three minutes after the break thanks to captain Mateo Musacchio's header.
But Neymar had the final say, with the 21-year-old tapping in from close range after excellent build-up work by Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez with 22 minutes to play.
The win was achieved without star trio Lionel Messi, Victor Valdes and Dani Alves, but Neymar was booked late on – ruling him out of the upcoming La Liga clash against Getafe.
Barcelona have now won 23 successive La Liga fixtures at home.
Meanwhile, Pepe rescued a point for Real Madrid in their frustrating draw against Osasuna as both teams finished with 10 men.
Osasuna took the lead in the 16th minute when Oriol Riera headed home Marc Bertran's pin-point cross and he nodded in a second after more good build-up play.
Sergio Ramos was then shown his 18th career red card for elbowing Riera, but Isco's low effort ensured that Real trailed by just one goal at the break.
After a lull in proceedings in the second half, Real were boosted when Francisco Silva was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Pepe restored parity with 10 minutes remaining when he met Isco's centre to salvage a point.
Other results saw Granada climb into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win at Rayo Vallecano.
Fran Rico and Riki scored the goals for the visitors, while Roque Santa Cruz's late strike gave Malaga 1 -0 home win against Getafe.
|11||Neymar||30' 68' 85'|
|Coach: G. Martino|
for A. Song 62'
for A. Sánchez 83'
for Fàbregas 87'
|Coleman sees shades of Charles in Bale winner|
|Conte only concerned about Italy winning|
|Mauritania v South Africa: SAFA to investigate Masilela no-show|
|AFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Qatar hit 15 in Bhutan rout|
|Belgium 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1: De Bruyne shines in straightforward victory|
|Cyprus 0 Wales 1: Bale winner takes Wales one step closer|
|Netherlands 0 Iceland 1: Sigurdsson winner caps difficult first game for Blind|
|Italy 1 Malta 0: Pelle spares wasteful Azzurri|
|Balotelli stars in Milan friendly win|
|Bhutan thrashed 15-0 by Qatar in qualifier|
|Rwanda v Ghana: Gyan doubt gives hosts hope|
|Tanzania v Nigeria: Enyeama out of AFCON qualifier|
|Valdes and Berahino included in Premier League squads|
|Costa Rica v Brazil: Dunga´s men return after Copa disappointment|
|Spain v Slovakia: Azpilicueta eyeing important revenge|
|Adebayor left out of Tottenham squad list for league and Europe|
|San Marino v England: Place in history books beckons for Rooney|
|Germany can cope with Reus absence - Low|
|Bayern offer aid to refugees in ´training camp´|
|BREAKING NEWS: Welbeck ruled out for months after knee surgery|
|South Korea 8 Laos 0: Son leads the way in rout|
|Australia 5 Bangladesh 0: Socceroos surge to emphatic win|
|Japan 3 Cambodia 0: Hosts pick up first qualifying win|
|Rudiger aiming to nail down Euros spot after Roma move|
|Melo happy to join Inter at last|
|Hernandez thanks Ferguson after United departure|
|Chung: AFC has compromised FIFA election|
|Wales the new best of British|
|Reus out of Germany qualifiers|
|Chile v Paraguay: Vidal missing for Copa champions|
|Ghedin: Anything is possible for Malta|
|Pogba will be worth €100m - Marotta|
|England can win Euro 2016 - Hodgson tells players|
|Conte unsure over Balotelli future|
|Portugal - France Preview: Deschamps aiming to correct mistakes|
|Martial never the same again - Mangala|
|Copa del Rey Review: Racing fall at the first|
|Shelvey dismisses talk of England snub|
|Galatasaray unable to play Grosskreutz|
|Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland: O´Neill preaches patience ahead of Euro double-header|
|Levy slams ´wholly inappropriate´ West Brom after Berahino chase|
|Panama v Uruguay: Visitors without Suarez and Cavani|
|Captaincy won´t change me - Robben|
|Liverpool sign Brazilian youngster Allan|
|PFA expects swift Berahino resolution|
|Argentina v Bolivia: Mascherano backs ´very special´ Messi|
|´I do not know if I´m worth €80million´ - Martial shocked at price-tag|
|Afellay suspension reduced|
|Noble red card rescinded|
|Portugal v France: Deschamps aiming to correct mistakes|
|Bahebeck given the all clear|
|Germany v Poland: Muller out to settle the score|
|Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland: Keane counting on McCarthy and Walters|
|Georgia v Scotland: Tbilisi trip has must-win feel for Robertson|
|Juve still the team to beat - Hernanes|
|De Gea will remain professional, says team-mate Mata|
|Berahino given extra time off following strike tweet|
|´No excuses´ as Costa seeks to kick-start season|
|I´m not like Messi or Ronaldo – Hazard|
|United States v Peru: Klinsmann out to ´prove a point´|
|Martinez unsure when Cleverley will return|
|France set for Russia friendly ahead of Euros|
|Former Manchester United forward Berbatov joins PAOK|
|De Gea must play to earn Euro 2016 spot – Del Bosque|
|Cahill thrilled to lead Socceroos|
|Wijnaldum urges patience with new-look Newcastle|
|Reid praises Stones´ professionalism|
|Mexico v Trinidad and Tobago: Islanders hoping to build on Gold Cup display|
|Choosing Brazil over Spain was easiest decision, says Rafinha|
|Galliani hails ´changed´ Balotelli|
|OFC World Cup Qualifying Review: American Samoa notch second competitive win|
|Canada v Belize: Hosts look to stay calm|
|Carragher surprised by ´big´ Martial price|
|No pressure on Rodgers - Rush|
|No Benzema, no Cavani - Arsenal ´can´t compete´ says Sol Campbell|
|FFA muzzle Postecoglou after pay dispute criticism|
|Celtic complete Simunovic signing|
|Joaquin: I´m as happy as a little boy|
|Navas given time off by Costa Rica|
|Martial unfazed by prospect of United pressure|
|Ramos urges De Gea to overcome transfer woe|