Both sides had chances in the second period, but neither could find the back of the net as Madrid secured the three points.
Here Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two sides.
On target: 6
On target: 1
Was the result fair?
Looking at the statistics, it would not be unfair to suggest that Rayo should have taken something from the match. Madrid were much the better in the early stages of proceedings, but understandably retreated when they were reduced to 10 men, with Ramos receiving his matching orders. Rayo certainly had chances, but they were unable to find the back of the net.
Real Madrid's performance
It was hardly vintage from Madrid, but they picked up the three points. The league title might be gone, but it is imperative that they finish above Madrid rivals Atletico Madrid, with this result closing the gap to four points. On another night, they might have dropped points, but ultimately it is another home win.
Rayo Vallecano's performance
You cannot help but feel that Rayo missed a trick this evening. They had chances when Madrid were reduced to 10 men, but they were already 2-0 down at that stage and just never recovered. Despite the result, they remain in seventh position in the table, just five points off fourth position. It is difficult to criticise them after such a positive season to date.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Michael Essien: It was not a match full of star performers, but Essien was the shining light as he dictated the tempo from the middle of the pitch. The Ghana international was also prepared to do the leg work, allowing the likes of Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira more freedom in attack.
Biggest gaffe of the match
Rayo's finishing was poor this evening. They had a host of chances to open their tally, especially in the latter stages of the first period, but just could not find the back of the net. The quality in the final third was certainly the difference.
Jose Paradas was placed in a difficult position this evening when he was forced to send off Ramos in the first period, with the Spaniard picking up two yellows in quick succession. Aside from that, he had a fairly productive 90 minutes of work.
Real Madrid: Madrid will attempt to continue their winning run in the league when they travel to Deportivo La Coruna next Saturday.
Rayo Vallecano: Rayo return to league action at home next weekend with a clash against struggling Real Valladolid.