Atletico Madrid continued their 100 per cent record in all competitions at the Vicente Calderon this season with a hard fought 1-0 win over Celta Vigo.
Adrian Lopez grabbed the only goal 13 minutes from time with a brilliant half-volley from outside the area that flew past Javi Varas into the top corner.
Joao Miranda was then sent off for a second bookable offence 10 minutes later, but Diego Simeone's men saw out the final few moments without any scares to move seven points clear of Real Madrid in second place.
Atleti have now won 15 straight games at the Calderon, but they were made to struggle after failing to take advantage of a bright opening.
Andres Tunez nearly turned the ball into his own goal from Arda Turan's dangerous low cross on 10 minutes before Koke came even closer as he smacked the inside of the post from the edge of the area seconds later.
Diego Costa should then have opened the scoring when he prodded wide from Juanfran's excellent cross from the right but despite continuing to apply the pressure, the home side failed to create the same quality of opportunities after the break.
Radamel Falcao, who endured a quiet evening by his standards, had a shot from the edge of the area deflected just over 21 minutes from time, but it was Adrian who was to prove the hero as he fired a loose ball from 20 yards high past Varas eight minutes later.
Celta almost immediately equalised when Hugo Mallo pulled a shot between the far post and the late-arriving Iago Aspas, and the Galicians were handed more hope of a late leveller when Miranda cynically handled just outside his own area to stop a dangerous counter-attack.
However, Aspas fired the resultant free-kick well wide and Paco Herrera's men failed to make their man advantage count in the remaining few minutes to remain just two points above the relegation zone.