Second-half goals by Nacho Martinez, Medina Piti and Franco Vazquez guided Rayo Vallecano to an emphatic 3-0 victory over Levante as they ended 2012 with two consecutive victories.
Martinez opened the scoring just before the hour and Piti struck 10 minutes from time, both goals coming from fine strikes, before Vazquez pounced.
Victory guided Rayo to two points behind Levante who had been in a strong vein of form coming into the game with six wins and two draws from their past 10 Primera Division matches, their only defeats coming against Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Rayo started the match in 10th, five points and four places behind their visitors, with both teams having taken three points in their previous outings.
Alejandro Dominguez's late penalty had earned Rayo a 1-0 victory at Valencia with Levante winning by the same scoreline at Real Zaragoza.
There was little of note in the opening exchanges and it was not until the 16th minute that either goal was threatened.
Jose Barkero curled in a left-footed free-kick from the right wing which was tipped over by Rayo goalkeeper Martinez Ruben.
Barkero then drilled a shot wide before Piti finally had an effort for the hosts, his long-range shot from the right going over the bar.
Leo Baptistao's shot from the centre of the penalty area did not unduly threaten the visitors' goal with Gustavo Munua gathering the ball.
Martinez fired wide and Baptistao headed past the post as the hosts enjoyed greater possession.
However, half-time arrived goalless and the second half continued in the same vein.
Obafemi Martins shot wide from distance for Levante before Rayo took the lead with a superb goal out of keeping with what had been on display up until then.
Just before the hour mark, Martinez collected the ball from Roberto Trashorras on the right and fired a left-footed shot into the top left-hand corner of the goal from 25 yards.
Rodriguez Angel fired over and Nabil El Zhar's 20-yard effort forced Ruben to parry the ball as the visitors searched for a leveller.
However, with just 10 minutes to go, the hosts got their second of the game and again it was a fine finish, Piti sending a 30-yard free-kick into the top right of the goal.
Vazquez then got in on the act in injury time, drilling home after Leo Baptistao's strike from 30 yards was only parried by Munua.