Real were supposed to be a team in disarray under Jose Mourinho but there were no signs of that as Valencia were humbled 5-0 in the Mestalla on Sunday night.
All five goals came in a sensational first half for the visitors as Gonzalo Higuain opened the scoring before Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria helped themselves to two goals each.
But Atletico also claimed three points to ensure Real remain seven points adrift of their city rivals in third place.
Diego Simeone's side ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over Levante to stretch their unbeaten record at the Vicente Calderon stadium to a remarkable 18 games and move within eight points of Barcelona.
Perhaps the only surprise was that Radamel Falcao was not on the scoresheet as goals from Adrian Lopez and Koke secured the victory for the home side.
It wasn't all good news for Atletico though as their Colombian talisman limped off the field with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and could rule him out for a number of weeks.
Elsewhere, Osasuna moved off the bottom of La Liga and left Deportivo La Coruna there instead as they saw off the Galician side 2-1 in Pamplona.
Goals from Kike Sola and Nino inside an hour effectively sealed the points for Osasuna but they were forced to endure a nervy finish when Javier Camunas scored in injury time.
And finally, there were three points for Real Valladolid as they moved into the top half of the table with a 2-0 victory at home to Real Zaragoza.
Goals from Javi Guerra and Oscar Gonzalez either side of the break were enough for Valladolid to get the win in the heavy rain.