La Liga Wrap: Villarreal smash Rayo, Levante grab Valencia bragging rights
Marcelino Garcia Toral's men are already set for a UEFA Europa League spot next season, but they remain intent on avoiding qualification through the play-offs as they eye sixth place.
Ikechukwu Uche netted his 13th La Liga goal of the season in the 22nd minute, making him the division's highest-scoring African ahead of Granada's Youssef El Arabi.
Bruno Soriano doubled Villarreal's lead three minutes before the break as the hosts went into half-time on-course for another victory.
Jonathan Pereira gave the home side a three-goal lead nine minutes after half-time and Rayo's already-difficult task was made even harder in the 63rd minute as Anaitz Arbilla received a straight red for a tackle from behind on Moi Gomez.
Villarreal wrapped up the win and 4-0 scoreline a minute later through Jaume Costa, moving them on to 56 points, two behind Real Sociedad, who play at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Ten-man Levante defeated city rivals Valencia 2-0 at home in Saturday's late match.
Although the match has no bearing on proceedings at the top or bottom of the table, local pride was at stake as Valencia looked to give their fans something to cheer about after a disappointing season.
Juan Antonio Pizzi's players were unable to oblige, however, and although the match was goalless for over an hour, Levante eventually broke through.
Angel gave the hosts a 70th-minute lead and their second followed soon after.
Andreas Ivanschitz added number two with 81 minutes on the clock and although Pedro Lopez's late red card initially put Levante's position in doubt, they held on to move up to eighth place with 48 points.