Lionel Messi made up for a lackluster performance by scoring in the 86th minute on Sunday, giving Barcelona a 1-0 win at Atlético and extending the Catalan team’s unbeaten run against the Madrid rival to 19 league matches.
Real Madrid stay in touch with leaders Barcelona, who also have 28 points after 13 games but top the standings due to their superior goal difference.
Second-placed Real Madrid host Real Sociedad on Saturday hoping their decision to loan Martin Odegaard to their fellow high-flyers will not come back to haunt them.
Basque outfit Real Sociedad went top of Spain's LaLiga on Friday thanks to a 1-1 draw at home against bottom side Leganes.
La Liga: Former Egypt, Mexico coach Javier Aguirre replaces Mauricio Pellegrino at struggling Leganes
Aguirre played 59 times for Mexico and featured at the 1986 World Cup. He later coached Mexico in two separate spells at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups.
LaLiga: Portu brace guides Real Sociedad to 2-1 win at Granada to pull level with Barcelona, Real Madrid
Real Sociedad's fourth victory in seven away matches moved them into third place, behind the league's two traditional powerhouses on goal difference.
Real Madrid registered their biggest win since Zinedine Zidane's return as coach on Wednesday as they demolished struggling Leganes 5-0 to move up to second in LaLiga.
LaLiga: Zinedine Zindane's Real Madrid deliver yet another disappointing show in dreary away draw against Leganes
Real Madrid took the Monday night slot reserved for LaLiga's lower teams and never really looked out of place as Karim Benzema's goal was enough only for a 1-1 draw away to Leganes.
LaLiga: Saul Niguez's solitary goal helps Atletico Madrid beat Leganes ahead of key Champions League clash against Juventus
Saul Niguez stepped up in Griezmann's absence and missed, but tucked in the rebound after Andriy Lunin could only push the ball back into his path
LaLiga: Real Madrid, Barcelona expected to rest key players ahead of El Clasico double-header, Atletico aim to build on Juventus win
This weekend, Barca travel to fourth-placed Sevilla on Saturday and Madrid to Levante on Sunday, when priorities, rest and rotation will all be high on the agenda again
Lionel Messi joins chorus exhorting police to restart search operations for missing Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala
Lionel Messi urged investigators on Friday to resume the search for missing striker Emiliano Sala after police called off rescue operations and admitted the chances of finding him were extremely remote.
LaLiga: Ousmane Dembele dazzles for Barcelona against Leganes as Messi comes off the bench to secure victory
21-year-old Dembele, however, limped off with a sprained ankle in the 69th minute, shortly after Leganes had equalised through Martin Braithwaite and Valverde responded by introducing Messi.
Copa del Rey: Atletico crash out as Girona progress on away goals after thrilling draw; Real Madrid, Sevilla avoid upsets
Antoine Griezmann scored one and set up another but could not prevent Atletico Madrid tumbling out of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday as Girona progressed on away goals after a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Copa del Rey: Vinicius Junior stars in Real Madrid's quarter-final first leg win over Leganes; Girona hold Atletico to draw
Vinicius Junior starred and Real Madrid steadied the ship as a 3-0 win over Leganes put them on the brink of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
Copa del Rey: Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari calls for more attention in opening minutes of games ahead of Leganes clash
Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has called on his under-performing side to halt their tendency to concede early goals as they look for some relief from their floundering La Liga campaign against Leganes in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
La Liga: Wissam Ben Yedder's late goal rescues a point for Sevilla against Leganes; Valencia edge past Huesca
Mikel Vesga's header looked set to earn Leganes a valuable victory but Wissam Ben Yedder sneaked in to score in the 91st minute and earn Sevilla a 1-1 draw.
LaLiga: Athletic Bilbao sack coach Eduardo Berizzo after one win in 14 games, appoint reserve team boss Gaizka Garitano as replacement
Eduardo Berizzo had overseen only one league victory this term, on the opening weekend at home to Leganes. They sit 18th in La Liga.
LaLiga: Deportivo Alaves miss out on opportunity to climb atop standings after defeat to struggling Leganes
Deportivo Alaves could have leapfrogged Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid with victory, but instead remain fourth in the Spanish top flight, three points clear of sixth-placed Real Madrid.
La Liga: Karim Benzema's brace guides Real Madrid to easy victory over Leganes; Celta Vigo sink Atletico
Karim Benzema scored twice and Gareth Bale notched another for Real Madrid in a 4-1 thrashing of Leganes on Saturday after Atletico Madrid crashed to defeat in La Liga.
Rayo Vallecano, the Madrid side known for championing left-wing political causes and their small but passionate fan base, won automatic promotion back to La Liga after a two-year absence by beating Lugo