Real Sociedad saw their lead at the top of the Spanish League reduced to just two points after they were held toa 0-0 draw at home by Espanyol.

Second-placed Real Madrid were the chief beneficiaries of Sociedad’s lapse, as they secured an impressive 4-1 win over Real Betis at the Bernabeu.

Real’s list of goalscorers read like a Who’s Who of world football, with efforts from Raul, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and a Zinedine Zidane cancelling out Fernando’s opener for Betis.

Valencia and Deportivo Coruna, lying third and fourth, were both held to 1-1 draws at bottom club Recreativo Huelva and struggling Osasuna respectively.

Elsewhere, Radomir Antic, in charge for the first time at Barcelona, saw his side surrender a two-goal lead against Athletic Bilbao, to end up drawing 2-2 at the Nou Camp.

The Catalan side appeared to be cruising to an easy victory when Javier Saviola and Mrarc Overmars put them two up after just 13 minutes.

However, new signing Juan Pablo Sorin fouled Tiko just inside the area on 47 minutes and Santi Ezquerro scored from the resultant spot-kick. Francisco Yeste made it 2-2 on 57 minutes.

The draw did little to ease Barcelona’s worries: they remain in 15th place in the table and are now only two points above the relegation zone.

Sociedad lead the table with 44 points from 21 games, Real Madrid follow on 42 and Valencia are another three behind on 39.