Match ends, Rayo Vallecano 2, Atlético de Madrid 4.
Atletico Madrid put their La Liga title charge back on track with a comfortable derby win against Rayo Vallecano.
David Villa side-footed in the opener for Atletico before Thibaut Courtois denied Rayo's Jonathan Viera's penalty.
Arda Turan made it 2-0 with a tap in, but Viera's deflected strike briefly gave Rayo hope.
Turan turned in Atletico's third at the far post, and an own goal by Saul made it 4-1 before Joaquin Larrivey's late consolation.
"It was important to win after two draws," said Atletico striker Villa.
"We had to win, that's the important thing, going ahead game by game. We can't think about the rest."
Atletico's first win since 4 January keeps the former leaders in a strong position as they challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid for the title.
They are second in the standings with 54 points, level with leaders Barcelona but behind on goal difference. Real are one point and one place below their city rivals.
A 15th defeat of the season leaves Madrid-based Rayo still rooted in the relegation zone, five points from safety.
- 3Martínez García
- 2Román Triguero
- 22SaúlBooked at 63mins
- 7BangouraSubstituted forRochinaat 57'minutes
- 4BaenaBooked at 26minsSubstituted forCastilloat 76'minutes
- 19Viera RamosSubstituted forFalquéat 83'minutes
- 17ManquilloBooked at 54mins
- 3Filipe Luís
- 24SosaSubstituted forTorres Muñozat 61'minutesSubstituted forRodríguezat 64'minutes
- 14Fernández Arenas
- 19Diego Costa
- 9VillaSubstituted forGarcia Escuderoat 80'minutes
- 7López Álvarez
- 8Garcia Escudero
- 16Torres Muñoz
- Alberto Undiano Mallenco
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rayo Vallecano 2, Atlético de Madrid 4.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Rubén Martínez.
Attempt saved. Diego Costa (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Arda Turan.
Corner, Rayo Vallecano. Conceded by Thibaut Courtois.
Attempt saved. Iago Falqué (Rayo Vallecano) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joaquín Larrivey with a headed pass.
Attempt saved. Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Joaquín Larrivey.
Attempt missed. Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.
Foul by Saúl Ñíguez (Rayo Vallecano).
Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Alberto Bueno (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Iago Falqué.
Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Iago Falqué replaces Jonathan Viera.
Attempt missed. Alberto Bueno (Rayo Vallecano) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jonathan Viera.
Foul by Rubén Rochina (Rayo Vallecano).
Gabi (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Raúl García replaces David Villa.
Attempt missed. Filipe Luis (Atlético de Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Arda Turan following a fast break.
Foul by Roberto Trashorras (Rayo Vallecano).
Arda Turan (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Rayo Vallecano. Nery Castillo replaces Raúl Baena.