In-form Rayo Vallecano won 2-1 away to struggling Athletic Bilbao on Friday, carrying their impressive La Liga form into 2013.
Rayo took the lead through a goal from Alhassane Bangoura three minutes into the second half at Estadio San Mames.
Piti made it 2-0 from the penalty spot on 65 minutes, before Mikel San Jose got one back for Athletic with 13 minutes remaining.
The home side proved unable to force an equaliser in the closing exchanges, despite Rayo being reduced to 10 men by the 89th-minute dismissal of Alejandro Galvez.
Rayo's fourth successive league victory lifts to seventh on the standings, while Athletic, winless in three, sit six points above the relegation zone in 14th.