By Noah TanFollow @@Noah_Tan
With the win, second-placed Atletico kept up the pressure on league leaders Barcelona, who continued their fine run in the La Liga with a hard fought 2-1 win over Sevilla.
Real Madrid left it late to beat lowly Deportivo La Coruna 2-1, with Gonzalo Higuain netting the winner for Los Blancos two minutes from time.
Elsewhere, Real Sociedad beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 to claim their first away victory over their arch-rivals in over a decade, Real Zaragoza squandered a two goal lead to draw with Valencia 2-2, Getafe came from behind to beat Real Mallorca 3-1 with a second half onslaught, and Celta Vigo gave new coach Abel Resino a perfect start to his reign at the club with an impressive 2-1 win over Granada.
Meanwhile, Rayo Vallecano were beaten 2-1 at home by Real Valladolid, Real Betis got their European bid back on track with a surprisingly easy 3-0 win over Malaga, and Osasuna scored two late goals to claim a dramatic 2-0 win over Levante.
Here, FOXSPORTSASIA.com selects the best players from the La Liga this week. The formation chosen is 4-3-3.
GK: Andrés Fernández (Osasuna)
Osasuna took a huge step to securing their safety in the top tier of Spanish football with a crucial win over Levante, but they certainly could not have done it without the heroics of Fernandez in goal.
With dangerous striker Obefami Martins leading the line for Levante, Osasuna's defence was predictably stretched, and Fernandez had to come to his side's rescue as early as in the sixth minute when he made a brilliant reflex save to deny the former Inter Milan player from scoring. Fernandez was called into action once again 10 minutes later when he made an excellent one-handed stop to prevent Martins' fierce shot from going into the back of the net.
RB: Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Alves has been recently linked with a move away from Barcelona, with Arsenal reportedly interested in securing the 29-year-old's services, but based on the his performance against Sevilla, the Blaugrana will surely be thinking twice about letting their attacking-minded wing-back leave the club during the summer.
The Brazilian international did his former club no favours with an energetic shift down the right as he consistently bombed forward to support his attack but never neglected his defensive duties with fantastic tackles to keep the likes of Manu and Papa Babacar Diawara from making headway into the penalty area. And Alves played a huge part in setting up his side's equalising goal when his pinpoint cross found striker David Villa in the box, who had the simple task of heading home from three yards out.
LB: Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Marcelo has been criticised this season for several substandard displays, but the Brazilian responded to his critics in the perfect manner with a brilliant defensive shift on the left flank for Real.
The 24-year-old, known for his rampaging forays forward rather than his defensive capabilities, made a number of well-timed tackles and showed great anticipation to clear Pizzi's effort off-the-line with a brave header. Marcelo also nearly got himself on the scoresheet after doing well to find some space in the box, but his goalbound effort was unfortunately deflected wide.
CB: Mario (Real Betis)
Mario has earned himself a reputation as one of the toughest defenders in the La Liga, and the 31-year-old produced yet another imperious display at the back for Betis to lead his side to a win over high-flying Malaga.
Despite coming up against the likes of Isco and Joaquin, Mario simply did not panic and calmly cleared away whatever the Malaga attack could throw at him. The former Getafe player even managed to score a rare goal when he climbed above Malaga defender Martin Demichelis and headed home Benat Etxebarria's inch-perfect cross.
CB: Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Anyone who has played football knows that playing with a numerical disadvantage is never easy. So great credit must be given to Atletico for holding out to beat Espanyol despite having had midfielder Gabi sent off on the stroke of half-time.
And one of the biggest reasons why Atletico were able to keep a clean sheet against the Periquitos was Godin's superb performance at the back. The Uruguayan international made several fantastic last-ditch tackles to deny Espanyol's forwards from getting their shots away and read the game very well to make numerous vital interceptions.
CM: Apono (Real Zaragoza)
Apono has been one of Zaragoza's most influential players this season, and the 29-year-old was once again played a key role in helping his side claim a vital point against Valencia in their quest to avoid relegation.
The set-piece specialist put his side in the lead when he confidently stepped up to fire home from a penalty after Postiga was fouled in the box, then set up his side's second goal with a beautiful free-kick into the box which Postiga headed home from.
CM: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
It was clear that Atletico sorely missed the physicality and directness of Costa in their two Europa League matches with Rubin Kazan as they made a surprise exit from the competition they won last season.
However, the reintroduction of Costa into the team in Atletico's clash with Espanyol certainly reinvigorated Diego Simeone's men. Costa was often at the heart of Atletico's most promising attacks and used his incredible pace to devastating effect. Unsurprisingly, Costa was instrumental in securing victory for Atletico as he tricked Espanyol defender Hector Moreno into bringing him down in the box, therefore winning a penalty for his side which Radamel Falcao duly converted.
AM: Jonas (Valencia)
Jonas will undoubtedly be the only name on the lips of Valencia supporters after his well-taken brace earned them a valuable point in their incredible come-from-behind draw with Zaragoza.
Valencia, trailing by two goals after 32 minutes, pulled a goal back through Jonas four minutes later when the Brazilian forward controlled Aly Cissokho's cross into the box brilliantly and slammed the ball into the back of the net with ease. Jonas then scored the equaliser for Los Che when he instinctively stuck out a leg to divert the ball into the back of the net from two yards out after Victor Ruiz's flick-on from a free-kick.
ST: Helder Postiga (Real Zaragoza)
Postiga may be known to many as a flop who played for Tottenham Hotspur all those years ago, but the Portuguese international has come a long way since then and has since firmly established himself as a genuine attacking threat in the La Liga.
Along with Apono, Postiga was instrumental in his side's battling draw with Valencia. The 30-year-old earned his side a penalty, which Apono converted, when he made an interception in the final third of the pitch, drove forward into the box and forced Victor Ruiz to commit a foul on him. Postiga then doubled his side's lead with an acrobatic diving header from Apono's free-kick, and nearly earned his team all three points after putting the ball in the net in injury-time, only to see his effort ruled out for a foul on Valencia's Diego Alves in the build-up.
ST: Adrian Colunga (Getfae)
While Getafe's win over Mallorca was shrouded by referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes' controversial decision to award a penalty to the Azulones which Diego Castro converted for the equaliser, no one should take away Colunga's immense contribution to the game.
Colunga, who had threatened Mallorca's defence throughout the game, was rewarded for his hardworking endeavours up front when he timed his run into the box to perfection and headed home Federico Fernandez's cross to give his side the lead. The 28-year-old then doubled his goal tally for the night with his side's third goal with a sumptuous volley from Jaime Gavilan's cross which nestled into the back of the Mallorca net.
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Given that Real were due to clash in the Copa del Rey against Barcelona in midweek, it was understandable that Jose Mourinho chose to rest star player Ronaldo for their supposedly straightforward encounter with lowly Deportivo.
However, Ronaldo's omission only served to highlight how dependent Real were on the Portuguese international. Los Blancos were toothless up front and deservedly went behind in the first half to a well-taken Riki goal. But things changed dramatically in the second half once Mourinho threw Ronaldo into the fray. The former Manchester United player immediately made his presence felt and added a penetration to the Real attack which was previously absent. And it was only fitting that Ronaldo would play a key role in securing all three points for Real as his clever pass picked out Gonzalo Higuain in the box, and the Argentinian had the simple task of tapping the ball into an unguarded net.