Ruud van Nistelrooy was on target as Real Madrid beat Real Zaragoza 1-0 to move to within two points of leaders Sevilla in the Primera Liga.
Van Nistelrooy sidefooted the ball home just before half-time
The Dutchman struck for his 10th league goal of the season on 41 minutes.
Real are third on 35 points, level with second-placed rivals Barcelona who lost 3-1 at city rivals Espanyol on Saturday but have a game in hand.
Leaders Sevilla suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat by Real Mallorca, who ended a run of five straight losses.
The pressure was on Real and coach Fabio Capello after his announcement on Saturday that David Beckham would not play for the club again after agreeing to sign for Los Angeles Galaxy.
With Beckham watching from the VIP stand, a young Real side claimed their first win in four outings.
Beckham has signed with another club but you can see that we have young players who are very motivated
"There's been a lot of talk about players not continuing at this club in the last few days. Capello took a firm decision," said Real Madrid's sporting director Pedrag Mijatovic after the game.
"Beckham has signed with another club so obviously there were going to be few opportunities for him to play.
"But you can see that we have young players who are very motivated."
Barcelona missed the chance to return to the top of the table with their defeat in the Catalan capital's derby on Saturday.
Luis Garcia put Espanyol ahead in the 31st minute before Javier Saviola equalised early in the second half.
But Barca struggled throughout and Raul Tamudo headed the Espanyol back in front after 65 minutes.
Ronaldinho, playing his first game of 2007, almost curled in an equaliser but as Barcelona pushed forward, Francisco Rufete sealed the victory near the end.
Djibril Cisse, on loan from Liverpool, scored his second goal in a Marseille shirt to help his new side to a 2-0 win at 10-man Rennes on Sunday and into third place in the French championship.
Cisse, who returned to the first team in December following a lay-off with a broken leg, opened the scoring in the 57th minute when he finished off a smart pass from Franck Ribery. Toifilou Maoulida added the second for Marseille in the last minute of the match.
The win put Marseille into third place in the table, with 33 points, but they are 17 behind runaway leaders Lyon.