Karim Benzema proved the difference again for Real Madrid on Saturday by scoring a late winner against Rayo Vallecano to send his team nine points clear at the top of La Liga
La Liga: Real Madrid held off Rayo Vallecano's revival to win 2-1 on Saturday and return to the top of the table, two points clear of Real Sociedad, who face Osasuna on Sunday.
Lionel Messi marked his return from suspension with a goal in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday as Barcelona survived a scare against Rayo Vallecano to reach the quarter-finals.
The match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete was suspended at half-time on Sunday after Rayo fans sang songs calling Albacete's Roman Zozulya a "Nazi".
Real Madrid's response to Barcelona winning the title on Saturday night was to slip to a 0-1 defeat at Vallecas and fall 18 points behind La Liga's newly-crowned champions.
Rayo took the surprise lead at the Camp Nou but Lionel Messi converted a penalty and Luis Suarez finished a brilliant passing move to seal a 3-1 win.
Antoine Griezmann surpassed Fernando Torres with his 130th goal for Atletico Madrid.
Rayo Vallecano players attended a press conference along with coach Paco Jemez and president Raul Martin Presa to any match-fixing
Lionel Messi helped FC Barcelona extend their lead over Atletico Madrid to eight points with Real Madrid a further four points adrift in third with 11 games remaining in La Liga.
Atletico Madrid defeated Rayo Vallecano 3-0 and advanced to the last eight of the Copa del Rey 4-1 on aggregate.
Rafael Benitez has been under pressure ever since Real Madrid's exit from the Copa del Rey pressure will be on coach to ensure the hosts put up a dominant display at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Atletico Madrid would have gone top of the La Liga has they beaten Malaga given Barcelona's preoccupation with the FIFA Club world Cup in Japan.
Real Madrid were trailing 2-1 inside 12 minutes but two red cards for Rayo Vallecano players opened the floodgates. Cristiano Ronaldo score two, Karim Benzema a hat-trick while Gareth Bale had his most prolific day in three years as a Madrid player.
Gareth Bale scored the opener in Real Madrid's demolition of Granada but received a knock on his left foot during the game.
Spanish club Rayo Vallecano's Lass Bangoura left the national team camp in Morocco on Wednesday night after being given the order.
Barca will now face Getafe in the last 16 after the Madrid side thrashed Girona 4-1 to secure their place in the next round by the same score on aggregate.
Valdes saved a second penalty in as many games in the Catalans' 4-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
The Catalans enjoyed just 45 percent of the ball