Sevilla took the lead of Real Madrid in La Liga after winning 1-0 at Cadiz on Monday, while Oihan Sancet scored a hat-trick for Athletic Bilbao.
Lucas Ocampos’ second-half goal put Sevilla within five points of Madrid with one game fewer.
Real gave Sevilla a chance to tighten the title race after Carlo Ancelotti’s side lost in Getafe on Sunday, a defeat that ended a run of 15 unbeaten games in all competitions.
Joan Jordan hit the post early for Sevilla, who were without seven players – who the club has not identified – due to Covid-19 infections. Defender Jules Kounde was also suspended, while Suso Fernandez, Erik Lamela and Jesus Navas were recovering from the injury.
Ocampos broke through Cadiz’s tight defense in the 58th minute. Ivan Romero controls a loose ball in the box, serves Ivan Rakitic, who uses a touch to find Ocampos and score from a corner.
Sevilla opened an eight-point gap over Real Betis in third place. Atletico Madrid are one point behind in fourth place, followed by Barcelona by another point. Cadiz remains in 19th place.
Atletico Bilbao Sancet midfielder scored three goals to bring his team to a 3-1 win Osasuna.
The hat-trick came after scoring his first goal of the season in a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid before the winter break.
Villareal demolished last place Levant 5-0 thanks to a brace from Gerard Moreno.
Villarreal, who struggled at the start of the season, have won six consecutive victories in all competitions. Levante remains winless in all 19 league games and is eight points from salvation.