Atletico Madrid moved level on points with La Liga leaders Barcelona on Saturday after defeating Eibar 3-1 at the Vicente Calderon thanks to goals from Jose Gimenez, Saul Niguez and Fernando Torres.
Luis Enrique's Barca don't face Levante until Sunday, when they'll hope to restore their three-point cushion, with a game in hand over Los Rojiblancos still to their name.
Villarreal failed tie level with Real Madrid in third after running to a 0-0 stalemate against 10-man Athletic Bilbao, leaving Los Blancos to pull clear of Marcelino's men when they make the trip to Granada on Sunday.
Rayo Vallecano moved from 18th to 14th after beating Las Palmas 2-0, while Sporting Gijon drew 1-1 with Deportivo La Coruna at El Molinon late on Saturday evening.
Read on for recap of Saturday's results, complete with the updated 2015-16 Primera Division standings.
|Rayo Vallecano||2-0||Las Palmas|
|Sporting Gijon||1-1||Deportivo La Coruna|
|9||Deportivo La Coruna||23||6||13||4||31||28||+3||31|
Atletico were in dire need of a victory on Saturday after failing to beat Sevilla and Barcelona at the tail end of January, but a slow start on home turf meant their comeback plans were momentarily stunted.
Following a scoreless first half, a slip from Saul early in the second period allowed Eibar attacker Keko to ghost through on goal, chipping over Jan Oblak for the opener. OptaJose detailed this as the first goal scored by a Madrid-born player at the Vicente Calderon since 2012:
2012 - Last Madrilenian player who scored at Calderon against Atletico in La Liga was Alberto Bueno (Valladolid) on September 2012 . Keko— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 6, 2016
Thankfully for Atletico manager Diego Simeone, the response from his side was swift, and it took centre-back duo Gimenez and Saul to complete the comeback from a pair of Koke corners.
Gimenez nodded in just seven minutes after Keko's goal before Saul made up for his earlier error on the 63-minute mark, saving Simeone's blushes in the process. Torres came off the bench to make sure of the three points with a strike in injury time, a landmark goal for the Spaniard, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:
Fernando Torres scores his 100th goal for Atletico… just the 19 games and five months after number 99…— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) February 6, 2016
Atletico may be pleased at reversing their fortunes to emerge triumphant following an early stumble, but more difficult opponents than Eibar await Los Rojiblancos, and they won't be as forgiving.
That being said, Simeone will be happy just to get back to winning ways. Eibar remain eighth in the division but saw their hopes of a European finish falter as a result.
Later on Saturday, Athletic Bilbao were held to a scoreless draw at home to Villarreal, where referee Mario Melero Lopez was kept on his toes in a feisty affair that produced no fewer than 11 yellow cards and one red.
According to WhoScored.com, Los Leones had 10 shots on goal compared to Villarreal's two, and it was the Basque hosts who dictated the tempo almost throughout , only to be found lacking in end product.
This is the first time Athletic have failed to score in a home fixture since drawing 0-0 against Malaga at the beginning of December, but both teams could walk away from the clash content with a share of the spoils.
Fan account Athletic Club UK confirmed the unfortunate news of Inaki Williams' sending off in the 90th minute for a second caution, meaning he'll now miss next Saturday's trip to Real Madrid.
Iñaki Williams sent off. Second booking.— Athletic Club UK (@AthleticClubUK) February 6, 2016
Rayo Vallecano moved out of the relegation zone in style on Saturday after defeating fellow drop candidates Las Palmas 2-0 to stretch their unbeaten run to four matches.
It took striker Miku only three minutes to open the scoreline before setting up attack partner Bebe for the game's second goal 15 minutes from time. Opta Jose detailed how essential Miku has been to the club's scoring cause of late:
1 - Miku has been involved in @RVMOficial's last four goals in La Liga (two goals, two assists). Vinotinto.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 6, 2016
That win lifted Paco Jemez's side a massive four places and also sealed their second consecutive home clean sheet in La Liga, having defeated Celta Vigo 3-0 at the Vallecas in January.
Las Palmas take their place in the bottom three and are only a point ahead of Granada, but an away trip to Sevilla next Sunday means their fixture slate doesn't get easier anytime soon.
In the final match of the night, Gijon and Depor could not be separated at El Molinon, playing out a 1-1 draw.
The 24-year-old winger Jony grabbed the opener for the hosts shortly after the half-hour mark, striking from outside of the box.
However, the visitors were back on level terms only nine minutes later, as Luis Alberto found the top corner with a deadly finish to make it 1-1.
The shared points sees both teams temporarily rise in the standings before Sunday's fixtures are played.