Real Madrid dropped to second in the La Liga table after Zinedine Zidane's side could only draw 3-3 at home to Las Palmas.
Ronaldo's double meant Real avoided a shock defeat, but the title initiative and a one-point lead was handed to Barcelona.
Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta says the aim right now is to play well and keep the pressure on the leaders.
Wales forward Bale was making his first Madrid start since November after injuring his ankle, and his header sparked a stunning revival after Manu Trigueros and Cedric Bakambu had put Villarreal 2-0 up.
After turning the match against Villarreal around, Real Madrid will play another yellow opponents as they host Las Palmas.
When asked if the furore was exaggerated because his side were involved, Zidane told a news conference: "Yes, this is clear". Fortunately we only depend on ourselves. We had to be patient and our substitutions ended up changing the game. We win and lose together and that's how it'll be until the end.
"Whoever thinks that Barcelona will throw in the towel and that Madrid has already won it with nine or 10 rounds to go, doesn't know a lot of football", Ramos said. We've got a great team and we're going to need them all.
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Watch the goals and Bale's red card below....
He largely remained a substitute after his return and this was a role the 24-year-old found himself stuck in once more after joining Paris Saint-Germain for this season. Zidane can ill-afford to lose his best players through unnecessary suspensions. The Spain worldwide has made just 11 La Liga starts this season, scoring five goals, and has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Manchester City.
"Bale apologised, of course, he is not happy with the sending off", he added.
It seems as though Bale was irked by something Viera said to him.
He has not scored since joining Las Palmas on loan on January 31 and his side have lost all four games since his arrival. It will be hard right until the end, as I've said before and I stand by that.
"The message I have is that I'm very proud of my players because they are very respectful of match officials".