Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone lamented his side's inability to turn possession into goals as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Malaga on Sunday.
Barcelona's 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday had meant Atletico could have cut the gap at the top to nine points with a win, but they failed to find a way through in a match that started brightly before fizzling out.
Indeed after a bright opening by Atletico in which Diego Costa, Arda Turan and Cristian Rodriguez all fired shots just off target, it was Malaga who had the best of the chances.
Thibaut Courtois produced a wonderful save to turn Martin Demichelis' header behind from Joaquin's corner before the break and from another set-piece situation Weligton headed just wide with 13 minutes remaining.
Elsewhere Real Sociedad and Real Betis played out the game of the day as they drew 3-3 at Anoeta.
Goals from Jorge Molina and Dorlan Pabon had put the visitors 2-0 in front but three goals in little over tenminutes from Carlos Vela, Inigo Martinez and Xabi Prieto turned the game around before Pabon turned in his second of the game to salvage a point for Betis.
Mallorca gave their chances of survival a huge boost as Tomer Hemed's injury time header gave them a 2-1 win at Granada, whilst Valladolid halted Espanyol's winning run at home as they played out a 0-0 draw.