Club Atlético de Madrid cemented their hold on second place in the Liga with a 3-0 victory at Real Valladolid CF that leaves them 12 points behind leaders FC Barcelona, while neighbours Real Madrid CF also won.
Needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit away against FC Rubin Kazan in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, Diego Simeone's charges warmed up for that game with their first away success in all competitions since 18 November. Falcao got the ball rolling with his 20th league effort this term on 11 minutes and the capital side doubled their advantage via Diego Costa shortly after the interval, before substitute Cristian Rodríguez added a third in the final minute.
Third-placed Madrid kept pace with their derby rivals, remaining four points back following a resolute performance against Rayo Vallecano de Madrid. José Mourinho's men started in fine form as Álvaro Morata and Sergio Ramos put them into a two-goal lead after 12 minutes. The latter accumulated a pair of bookings within six minutes of scoring, however, but Madrid dug their heels in and came through with a 2-0 win.
Also on Sunday, fifth-placed Valencia CF bounced back from UEFA Champions League disappointment in midweek with a 2-0 home win against RCD Mallorca, despite losing Tino Costa to a 28th-minute red card. Second-half strikes from Ricardo Costa and Roberto Soldado made the difference for the team beaten 2-1 by Paris Saint-Germain FC on Tuesday.
Lastly, Levante UD collected their first away point since 16 December as they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Real Sociedad de Fútbol, and RCD Espanyol claimed a third win in a row against Real Betis Balompié.
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