Atlético Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann hit a second half hat-trick as the champions came from behind to win 4-1 at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Atlético showed the fighting spirit that won them the title last season as they came out on top after a Mikel Rico header had deservedly given the home side the lead in the 17th minute.
Griezmann nodded in the equaliser straight after the break and seven minutes later Raúl García converted a penalty after Mikel San José was adjudged to have fouled Tiago Cardosa.
Griezmann then finished clinically following a breakaway after 73 minutes and tapped home from close range from what looked an offside position to wrap up the victory with 10 minutes to go.
Earlier the in-form Luciano Vietto hit two second-half goals as Villarreal cruised to a 3-0 home victory over lowly Deportivo La Coruna and moved up to fifth on 30 points.
The former Barcelona youth player Jonathan Dos Santos put Villarreal ahead with his first La Liga goal after 10 minutes and Vietto finished off Deportivo’s resistance with two second-half efforts.
One of Villarreal’s substitutes, Tomas Pina, was dismissed for a rash challenge on Alejandro Bergantinos late in the game.
Málaga are behind Villarreal on goal difference after they came from behind to beat Elche 2-1 away, while third- from-bottom Granada drew 1-1 at home with Getafe.