José Mourinho’s side started the day ten points behind Josep Guardiola’s titleholders but made the most of their game in hand to return within seven points of the leaders. oEmmanuel Adebayor gave the visitors the lead after fine work from Mesut Özil, and Karim Benzema added another four minutes later. Racing’s Pablo Pinillos missed a second-half penalty before Kennedy Bakircioglü eventually halved their arrears with 20 minutes remaining, but Benzema made sure of the points soon after with his sixth goal in five appearances.
Elsewhere, Athletic Club are up to fifth following a 2-0 win against Sevilla which came courtesy of a Federico Fazio own goal and an Andoni Iraola penalty. As for Espanyol, they lie sixth, a point behind Athletic, having lost 1-0 at Levante.
Almería have climbed off the bottom of the table after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Hércules. The visitors are now just a point adrift of third-bottom Hércules – two from safety – and have been replaced at the foot of the table by Málaga, defeated 1-0 by Osasuna courtesy of Sergio Fernández’s 92nd-minute goal. Lastly, Real Sporting de Gijón ended with ten men but still managed to beat Getafe 2-0.