Llorente double defeats Atletico in Bilbao
Bilbao struck three times in eight second-half minutes at their rain-lashed San Mames stadium, Spain striker Fernando Llorente netting twice and substitute Gaizka Toquero adding the third with a quarter-of-an-hour left.
The Basque club's third win in four matches lifted them to eighth on 12 points as their revival gathered pace following a poor start under new Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa.
In the earlier kick-off, Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani scored a 75th-minute winner for Espanyol as the Barcelona-based side beat promoted Real Betis 1-0 to climb to sixth on 15 points.
On Wednesday, surprise leaders Levante (23 points) stayed top by beating Real Sociedad 3-2.
Real Madrid are a point back in second thanks to a 3-0 win at home to Villarreal on Wednesday. Champions Barcelona are third, a further point adrift, after Tuesday's 1-0 triumph at Granada.