Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 2-0 at home but remain a distant third place in Spanish football's La Liga.
Despite an 18th-minute red card to goalscorer Sergio Ramos, Real still had too much for their Madird city rivals at the Bernabeu.
The champions scored through youth-team striker Alvaro Morata three minutes into his first league start for the club, and Ramos, Real's captain, powered in a header from a freekick in the 12th.
However, Ramos then picked up two yellow cards in a minute.
Real remain 16 points adrift of runaway league leaders Barcelona, who won 2-1 at Granada on Sunday, and perhaps even more embarrassingly for the Madrid giants, Real are also trailing city arch-rivals Atletico Madrid by four points, after Atletico won 3-0 at Real Valladolid on Monday.