Radamel Falcao ensured that Atletico Madrid's superb home form continued as he slotted from the spot to give them a 1-0 win over Espanyol.
Diego Simeone's men had to endure a tough game after Gabi was sent off on the stroke of half-time, but they defending brilliantly to ensure that Espanyol never looked like getting into the game.
The first chance arrived just 14 minutes in when Diego Costa raced onto a throughball but goalkeeper Kiko Casilla brought the Brazilian down outside the area, and was only shown a yellow card.
Costa was a constant threat for the hosts in a game that did not provide too much goalmouth action, but was tense and physical.
Six players had already been cautioned by the 40th minute while there was also a nasty confrontation involving a number of players following a late tackle from Tiago on Juan Forlin.
Gabi was booked in the clash and the Atletico midfielder would live to rue that mistake when he earned a second yellow card for a late challenge on Joan Capdevila.
Costa then earned the decisive penalty when he got onto a pass from Falcao and was tripped by Hector Moreno. Falcao stepped up and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from 12-yards out.
Espanyol had rarely threatened the goal, with their only real chance of note being a shot from Diego Godin which was well blocked by Stuani.
Atletico, on the other hand, still looked dangerous despite being a man down and could have extended their advantage further if their finishing had been better.