Karim Benzema's strike and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty ensured Real Madrid got back to winning ways in the Primera Division as they won 2-0 against a resilient Rayo Vallecano.
Benzema finished a fine counter-attack to give Real a deserved 13th-minute lead and they survived a few nervy moments before Ronaldo made the game safe from the spot midway through the second half.
Vallecano's night ended on a sour note when Jose Manuel Casado was dismissed in injury time for a second bookable offence in an encounter that had been held over until Monday evening after a suspected act of sabotage saw the power supply cut at the Estadio de Vallecas on Sunday.
The victory was just Real's second win in five La Liga matches and the defending champions are now eight points behind frontrunners Barcelona.
In Monday's other game, Sevilla secured a 2-0 victory at Deportivo La Coruna thanks to goals deep into the second half from Alvaro Negredo and Ivan Rakitic.
Sevilla remain unbeaten this season and Michel's side can take great credit for emerging from the Riazor on a night when a point would have been considered a good return.
Depor have looked a handy side since their return to the top flight and were competitive enough in this match until the 75th and 84th minute strikes. Sevilla sit fourth in the standings as a result of the win.