MADRID, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid retained their seven point lead at the top of Spain's BBVA Primera Liga on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 away win at Getafe, while second-placed Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-1.
Sergio Ramos' header gave Real the victory as the visitors had chances to have extended their lead, through Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.
However, in the end, they had to thank referee Ayaza Gamez, who failed to spot a clear handball in the Madrid penalty area from central defender Pepe, 15 minutes from the final whistle.
Had he seen it and given the resulting penalty, Getafe could well have taken two points from the league leaders.
Barcelona missed chances against Real Sociedad but goals from Cristian Tello and Leo Messi gave them three points at home as Sociedad only showed belief they could take something from the game in the closing minutes.
Tello opened the scoring on nine minutes and after missing chances Messi added a second at 72, only for Carlos Vela to score for the visitors a minute later.
Barca lost Sergio Busquets with an ugly knee injury after just two minutes on the pitch.
Elsewhere Athletic Club Bilbao and Espanyol produced a six goal thriller that ended 3-3 in Athletic's San Mames Stadium.
Oscar De Marcos put Athletic ahead midway through the first half before Ndri Romaric equalized before halftime.
Vladimir Weiss put Espanyol ahead with a dipping 30-meter-drive, before Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez put the home side ahead with headed goals.
Juan Albin assured a share of the points with a powerful shot deep in injury time.
Chori Castro's goal gave Mallorca an important win at home to Betis while Levante's poor start to 2012 continued with 1-1 draw at home to Racing Santander: Aruna Kone put Levante ahead, but Manuel Arana gave Racing a valuable draw.