Atletico Madrid bounced back from their midweek disappointment in Europe by setting a club record in a 1-0 win at an out-of-form Real Betis on Sunday.
Saul Niguez scored the only goal in the first half to make up for their group-stage exit from the Champions League and extend the Rojiblancos' unbeaten run in LaLiga to a history-making 19th match.
Antoine Griezmann suffered a hamstring strain the midweek draw with Chelsea and was forced to sit out the trip to the Benito Villamarin, while Fernando Torres was relegated to the bench.
The pair's presence would likely have made little difference to a one-sided start to proceedings as mid-table Betis, now winless in six LaLiga matches, dominated the early possession and territory.
But midfielder Saul poked home with his side's first chance to calm the nerves and put the visitors on course for a third consecutive league victory.
Diego Simeone's men were content to repel Betis' occasional incursions after the restart in climbing back into third, two points ahead of rivals Real Madrid.
Simeone's four changes included recalls for Diego Godin and Sime Vrsaljko to a defence that was spared by a tame Ryad Boudebouz finish in the third minute.
Betis kept the pressure on over the opening 25 minutes and saw Joaquin's free-kick flash dangerously across the face of Jan Oblak's goal.
Having survived that examination, the visitors needed only one chance to take the lead against the run of play just before the half-hour mark.
Vrsaljko received Godin's raking pass out to the right and whipped an enticing ball across the face that somehow evaded an initial clutch of players. An untracked Saul was the beneficiary, stretching to tap in at the far post.
And they might have doubled the advantage almost instantly, but Angel Correa passed up better options in shooting straight at Antonio Adan.
Unbroken by Atletico's first half sucker-punch, Betis threatened again after the break as Sergio Leon fired off target from a narrow angle.
Cristian Tello went closer with a stinging drive soon after, only for Oblak to spectacularly claw it away from the top-right corner.
That superb save proved to be the Slovenia goalkeeper's last real test of a largely untroubled second half, the away side shutting the gate as they have done numerous times throughout their impressive unbeaten run in the league.
|Two games in two days! Ireland´s Doyle returns from Turkey to play for Bradford|
|Bancroft caught up in ball-tampering row|
|Everything is fine again! Khedira offers positive fitness update|
|Puyol ´doesn´t see any problem´ with Neymar joining Real Madrid|
|Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty|
|No offers for ´happy´ Bellerin, insists Arsenal full-back´s agent|
|F1 teams up with Netflix for documentary series|
|Iker is trembling already! - Ramos hunting down Casillas´ cap record|
|Warriors leave it late to preserve winning start, Hayne injures hip|
|Silva leaves Spain squad for personal reasons|
|Egypt coach Cuper declares Salah among world´s best|
|A-League Review: Simon haunts managerless Mariners, Jakobsen opens City account|
|Ricciardo: I´ve been shot in the ankle before season has even started|
|Alvarez temporarily suspended over positive test|
|Ronaldo trumps Salah, Messi missing - winners and losers from Friday´s internationals|
|Giggs wants Bale to stay at Real Madrid|
|Canes end Highlanders´ winning run|
|Bottas ´sorry´ for qualifying crash|
|Muller and Ozil set to miss Brazil friendly|
|´I wanted to wipe the smile off your face´ - Hamilton-Vettel rivalry already simmering|
|Ramos hails Spain´s belief after Germany draw|
|Buffon not ready to walk away as Italy look to the future|
|Hamilton breaks records to take pole in Melbourne|
|Curry suffers MCL sprain in first game back from ankle injury|
|Rain ruins day three in Auckland|
|Celtics get another short-handed win, Curry injured again|
|Wozniacki exits as Venus, Konta cruise in Miami|
|Wozniacki stunned by Puig in Miami|
|Mexico 3 Iceland 0: Layun scores brace in friendly win|
|Djokovic struggles continue as Cilic, Dimitrov progress|
|Usain Bolt not ready for top level, says Stoger|
|Ronaldo is a goal – Santos hails Portugal star|
|Pro Bowl TE Bennett announces retirement from NFL|
|Broncos acquire Veldheer from Cardinals for sixth-round pick|
|Dustin Johnson smashes 489-yard drive at Match Play|
|Celtics star Irving to have procedure on knee|
|Giants lose Bumgarner, Samardzija to injuries days before season opener|
|Dybala and Icardi World Cup chances not over yet, says Sampaoli|
|Reed dumps Spieth out, Harman accounts for McIlroy|
|James: Colombia can´t get carried away with France win|
|Italy to wait on Verratti injury|
|Lopetegui happy with Spain showing against ´physically stronger´ Germany|
|Warriors rampant, Weir inspires Edinburgh|
|Messi has had hamstring injury for ´some time´|
|Forward-thinking Southgate makes case for England´s defence|
|McLeish to ring Scotland changes for Hungary clash|
|Rodrigo dedicates Spain goal to Canizares after death of son|
|France were taught a lesson in aggression by Colombia, says Deschamps|
|Late Simmonds penalty breaks Bath hearts|
|Ronaldo up to third on all-time list after Portugal brace|
|Cowboys boost receiving corps with Allen Hurns signing|
|Tigers cling on to win Elland Road thriller, Saints respond at Hull KR|
|Meunier expects PSG will sack Emery|
|Tony Romo finishes last in PGA Tour debut|
|Germany friendly emotionally important for Brazil - Tite|
|France 2 Colombia 3: Quintero completes stunning comeback in Paris|
|Portugal 2 Egypt 1: Late Ronaldo double stuns Salah-inspired Pharaohs|
|No Messi, no Magic – Sampaoli playing a risky game ignoring Dybala|
|Netherlands 0 England 1: Lingard strikes to ruin Koeman´s debut|
|Scotland 0 Costa Rica 1: McLeish suffers defeat in first game back|
|Argentina 2 Italy 0: Banega & Lanzini win it for Messi-less Albiceleste|
|Germany 1 Spain 1: Muller wonderstrike cancels out Rodrigo opener|
|Curry available to make Warriors return against Hawks|
|Paire ousts out-of-sorts Djokovic in Miami|
|Ibrahimovic: If I want to go to the World Cup, I´m there|
|Michael Bennett indicted for allegedly injuring paraplegic woman|
|Svitolina ends Osaka winning run in Miami|
|Australia not ready for World Cup – Van Marwijk|
|Turkey 1 Republic of Ireland 0: Topal strike downs O´Neill´s men|
|Norway 4 Australia 1: Kamara hat-trick spoils Van Marwijk´s Socceroos bow|