Rayo Vallecano ended a run of three successive La Liga defeats by thumping Espanyol 3-0 at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas in Madrid on Friday night.
A win for Espanyol would have moved them into the top six, but they were always playing second fiddle on the night.
The first goal arrived in the 36th minute when Roco pulled down Javi Guerra when the forward was in a threatening position.
The referee pointed to the spot and Roberto Trashorras stepped up and fired the ball into the bottom corner.
Rayo took control from that point on, and their job was made even easier when Victor Sanchez was shown his second yellow card in the 66th minute.
The hosts would kill off the game as a contest with two goals in the space of three minutes not long after.
Guerra scored after collecting a pass from Bebe, who had done all the hard work by beating two defenders.
A couple of minutes later, Rayo would have their third and Guerra his second as he found himself in some space on the edge of the box before producing an impressive finish to seal the emphatic victory.