Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Valencia and missed the chance to return to second in La Liga.
Brazilian forward Jonas found the net for the visitors after five minutes but within 60 seconds, Radamel Falcao was on hand to convert his only chance of the match.
Ernesto Valverde’s side started well and the zealous Pablo Piatti created an early opening but his cross was too deep for Nelson Valdez.
And Jonas pounced on Joao Pereira’s deep cross and squeezed the ball past Thibaut Courtois at the second attempt from just a few yards out.
The talismanic Colombian striker Falcao needed little invitation to notch his 22nd goal of the season at the other end, heading home from Arda Turan’s neat cross to the back post.
Valencia asked questions of a stern Atletico Madrid defence, which is statistically the best in the Spanish top-flight.
But the home side had to rely on their Belgian international goalkeeper with some vital saves to keep the score all square.
Courtois, who is on loan from Chelsea, denied Dani Parejo from a free-kick, tipping over the crossbar as the ball looked certain to find the top corner.
Second-placed Atletico struggled to get into any rhythm with playmaker Arda Turan leaving the field early through injury, replaced by the more combative Raul Garcia.
The inspired Courtois was on hand to save Atletico’s blushes with a brilliant double-save on the 30 minute mark.
First, he blocked from Piatti’s rapid right-foot volley, before reacting quickly to deny Jonas his ninth goal under Valverde with a strong left-handed stop.
Despite having 70% of the possession, Valencia failed to get in front for a second time and the Red and Whites had a brief sight of their own at goal through Gabi’s well-struck free-kick.
Diego Simeone regrouped his players at the break and Atletico were far more competitive in the challenging wet conditions and were the livelier of the two sides.
It was Diego Alves who was the busier of the two goalkeepers after the break and on 58 minutes, he made a brave intervention to deny at the feet of Diego Costa.
With the hosts going toe-to-toe with Los Che, Alves was on hand to make another bright save, blocking Koke’s glancing header.
Valencia had lost one in eight games under Valverde and although they lacked the attacking spark to go back ahead, their defensive solidity kept Falcao at bay.
The Atletico top-scorer is a target for some of the biggest sides on the continent, including Chelsea, but was isolated by a muted display from strike-partner Costa.
Valencia still reserved some danger for counter-attacks – but were resorted to long-range efforts which didn’t test Courtois.
The closest Valencia came was through a hit distance from Parejo which sailed harmlessly past the Atletico post.
And Europa League-chasing Valencia left the more content of the two sides with their share of the points.