Mario Suarez opened the scoring for the home side after 29 minutes, but the victory was effectively wrapped up in seven second-half minutes.
Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two sides.
On target 6
On target 5
Was the result fair?
On the balance of play, you would have to say yes. Atletico Madrid dominated the opening half and rightly entered the break ahead. They played some wonderful football in the early stages of the second period – scoring three goals – but their defence was shaky in the final minutes. On paper, it looked a close match, but it would have been harsh if Atletico didn't secure all three points.
Atletico Madrid's performance
6/10. Atletico showed the best and worst of themselves this evening. At times, their attacking play was simply sensational as they raced into a 4-0 lead. However, the victory has been somewhat tainted by an incredibly poor defensive lapse in the final 10 minutes. They look like a side who could achieve big things this season, but they must improve as a unit.
Rayo Vallecano's performance
5/10. It was a really strange performance from Rayo. They entered the match in a fine run of form, but didn't really offer any attacking intent in the first half. They dominated possession, but simply did not create, and were lucky to register three freak goals in the latter stages.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Gabi: The Atletico midfielder was really impressive this evening. He did a lot of the ground work – especially in the first half – as his side continued to create the better openings.
Biggest gaffe of the match
Atletico's defensive lapse in the final moments. In the end, the home side got away with it, but the way they collapsed under pressure was really worrying.
Muniz Fernandez had a bit of a 'picky' game this evening. The Spaniard was guilty of stopping the game all too often in the first half, while he awarded Atletico a soft penalty in the second period.
Atletico Madrid: Atletico begin their defence of the Europa League title against Hapoel Tel Aviv on Thursday, before facing Real Valladolid on Sunday.
Rayo Vallecano: Rayo have the small matter of a home clash with Real Madrid to prepare for next Sunday.