Match ends, Atlético de Madrid 3, Levante 1.
Fernando Torres watched from the stands as Spanish champions Atletico Madrid maintained their pursuit of Real Madrid and Barcelona by beating Levante.
The Spain striker, 30, was not eligible as his move from AC Milan cannot be formally completed until the Italian transfer window opens on Monday.
France forward Antoine Griezmann headed in either side of the break, but Nabil El Zhar's deflection gave Levante hope.
Uruguay defender Diego Godin eased any worries with another header late on.
The Spanish league season resumed after a two-week winter break as Atletico hosted lowly Levante at the Vicente Calderon.
Victory moves Diego Simeone's side within a point of leaders Real and level with second-placed Barca, although they have played more games than their title rivals.
Real travel to fourth-placed Valencia before David Moyes's Real Sociedad host Barca later on Sunday.
"We should have finished off the game in the first half but we did not pressurise enough," said centre-back Godin. "My goal calmed us down as we had become nervous after conceding.
"It was important for us to finish the year winning and also start with another victory."
Elsewhere, Nicolas Pareja scored the only goal of the game as Sevilla claimed a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo and climbed into fourth spot above Villarreal, who were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom side Elche.
Ivan Cavaleiro netted the winner for struggling Deportivo La Coruna as they edged a 1-0 victory over mid-table Athletic Bilbao, while Tomer Hemed's brace gave 10-man Almeria a surprise 2-1 win away at Malaga.
- 1Moyá Rumbo
- 20Torres Belén
- 24Giménez de Vargas
- 14Fernández Arenas
- 5Cardoso Mendes
- 10TuranSubstituted forGarcia Escuderoat 66'minutesBooked at 75mins
- 7GriezmannSubstituted forSaúlat 84'minutes
- 9MandzukicBooked at 42minsSubstituted forJiménezat 79'minutes
- 8Garcia Escudero
- 2López Mendoza
- 12García GarcíaBooked at 10mins
- 15KarabelasSubstituted forBarralat 73'minutes
- 11Morales Nogales
- 23DiopBooked at 23mins
- 22SissokoBooked at 75mins
- 18Casadesús Castaño
- 9Martins de SouzaSubstituted forEl Zharat 60'minutes
- 1Fernández Collado
- 3García Aranda
- 8El Zhar
- 16El Adoua
- 19López Muñoz
- 24Mate Junior
- Alfonso Álvarez Izquierdo
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Atlético de Madrid 3, Levante 1.
Attempt missed. Loukas Vyntra (Levante) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Andreas Ivanschitz with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Levante. Conceded by Raúl García.
Attempt blocked. Andreas Ivanschitz (Levante) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mohamed Sissoko.
Foul by Guillherme Siqueira (Atlético de Madrid).
Nabil El Zhar (Levante) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Saúl Ñíguez replaces Antoine Griezmann.
Goal! Atlético de Madrid 3, Levante 1. Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tiago with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Loukas Vyntra.
Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Raúl Jiménez replaces Mario Mandzukic.
Foul by Giménez (Atlético de Madrid).
Mohamed Sissoko (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Koke (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Loukas Vyntra (Levante).
Raúl García (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card.
Mohamed Sissoko (Levante) is shown the yellow card.
Offside, Atlético de Madrid. Giménez tries a through ball, but Juanfran is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Gabi (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tiago.
Koke (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.