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.
|Derrius Guice injury update: Redskins RB (knee) has rehab setback, undergoes 3 more procedures|
|Emery: Arsenal could sign defender in January|
|Phillies sign McCutchen to three-year deal|
|O´Neal thinks his Lakers teams could ´easily´ beat Warriors|
|A-League to add two clubs by 2020|
|Curry says he was ´obviously joking´ about moon landing comments|
|Now the beautiful part starts – Ronaldo ready for Champions League knockout stage|
|Bayern have a lot more potential – Lewandowski not satisfied despite top spot|
|Lyon star Fekir shares plaudits for Champions League progression|
|Mourinho not surprised by United´s defeat to Valencia|
|Motivation no issue for Benfica, claims Vitoria|
|Lewandowski finishes Champions League group stage as top scorer|
|Mourinho: We scored two goals and lost 2-1!|
|England have a diamond - Guardiola hails City´s Foden|
|Sterling´s carefree display invites us to love football more than others hate|
|Juventus achieved their objective, despite everything going wrong – Allegri|
|Never say never - Schmidt not ruling out All Blacks role|
|Bologna´s winning start ended in BCL|
|Di Francesco critical of Roma performance|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 1 Lyon 1: Fekir fires French side through in Group F|
|Benfica 1 AEK Athens 0: Grimaldo sends hosts out on a high|
|Young Boys 2 Juventus 1: Hoarau double seals famous victory|
|Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winners after Sane brace|
|Ajax 3 Bayern Munich 3: Kovac´s men clinch top spot in Amsterdam thriller|
|Valencia 2 Manchester United 1: Jones scores own goal as Red Devils limp through|
|Solari accepts responsibility for Madrid´s heaviest home defeat in Europe|
|WATCH: Rooney backs Rocky ahead of Canelo showdown|
|McLaren to collaborate with Team Bahrain Merida|
|Las Vegas to host 2020 NFL Draft|
|Stade teenager tragically dies after neck injury|
|Cahill may need to leave Chelsea if he wants to play, admits Sarri|
|Viktoria Plzen 2 Roma 1: Chory winner takes hosts into Europa League|
|Real Madrid 0 CSKA Moscow 3: Champions humiliated at Bernabeu|
|Sarri condemns ´disgusting´ Sterling abuse|
|Hansen hails outstanding Ben Smith ahead of Pau switch|
|Foden, Sterling start for Manchester City v Hoffenheim|
|Sky decision will not affect us in 2019, insist Froome and Thomas|
|Al Ain 3 Team Wellington 3 (aet, 4-3 on penalties): Shootout heartbreak for semi-pros in Club World|
|Jackson to remain Ravens´ starting QB despite Flacco return|
|Rams headline 2019 NFL International Series home teams|
|Rams headline International Series home teams for 2019|
|Atlanta want ´exciting football´ from new boss amid Bielsa links|
|Atlanta still yet to receive ´serious´ bid for ´Bale-like´ Almiron|
|Tottenham v Manchester United to be held at Wembley|
|Matip facing six weeks out with fractured collarbone|
|I´ve had quite a lot of calls – Brailsford encouraged by Team Sky interest|
|Afghanistan Football Federation president provisionally banned by FIFA|
|Knee injury rules Huddersfield´s Mooy out of Asian Cup|
|Arnautovic tipped for Man United move by Austria team-mate Sabitzer|
|Arsenal legend Adams to become RFL president|
|My love for football still burns strong – Toure speaks out amid talk of Premier League return|
|Noble contract extended to 2021|
|Split with Sky is an opportunity, says Brailsford|
|Van der Burgh rolls back the years, two more medals for Hosszu|
|Maitland-Niles praises Sterling for speaking out|
|Life is tough for him right now - Celtic striker Griffiths to take time away from football|
|Froome: Team Sky keen to continue with new partner|
|Emery confirms Koscielny to play against Qarabag|
|Llorente keen on Athletic return|
|I love the guy - Pocock backs under-pressure Cheika|
|Fit-again Ozil in line for Arsenal return against Qarabag|
|Raheem Sterling named Premier League Player of the Month|
|Two more Ligue 1 games postponed due to unrest|
|Pace attack among India´s best ever - Arun|
|Premier League has fostered ´excessive aggression´ among fans, says Scudamore|
|Sharks back Flanagan amid NRL investigation|
|Not good for my recovery! Hoddle delights in Spurs´ Champions League heroics|
|Harris backing Starc to fire in Perth|
|No fears over Atleti´s second-place finish for Simeone|
|Clippers buckled under Raptors pressure - Rivers|