The Belgian goalkeeper commanded his area excellently and he made a few smart stops to earn yet another clean sheet.
He struggled with the pace of Cordoba late on but used his strength and aerial ability to frustrate the Espanyol attack.
The experienced centre-half marshalled Sergio Garcia expertly and his good reading of the game ensured that Courtois was rarely troubled.
He was rarely exposed down the wing but despite his defensive stability, he offered very little going forward and will be disappointed with the quality of his crossing.
The Brazilian produced a solid defensive display down the left and also offered a strong attacking outlet on the overlap, providing a number of presentable opportunities for his team-mates with his teasing crosses.
A tenacious box-to-box performance from Tiago who proved his worth by always being in the right place to break up the Espanyol attack.
A subdued performance from the Turkey international who struggled to penetrate the Espanyol defence and create chances for his team-mates.
The on-loan Metalist Kharkiv midfielder produced a number of teasing set-piece deliveries, though failed to get the better of Lopez down the left.
He was Atletico's saviour once again, showing excellent strength and composure to score the game's only goal and his 22nd in the league this season. Had a debateable penalty appeal turned down.
A superb performance from Villa, who provided the only goal of the game with a fine assist. He was a constant thorn in the Espanyol defence with his intelligent movement and eye for goal.
The Espanyol goalkeeper made a number of smart stops to deny Villa and Filipe, though he looked uncomfortable claiming crosses.
The Argentine was caught the wrong side of Costa for the Atletico goal and that lapse of concentration marred an otherwise impressive defensive display.
The left-back dealt well with the threat of Arda Turan but can consider himself fortunate that he did not concede a penalty after tangling with Costa.
The Mexico international forged a good understanding with Colotto, producing a number of key headers and clearances to frustrate the Atletico attack.
Struggled to get forward to aid the attack and allowed Filipe too much space to get his crosses into the box.
A tough-tackling performance from the 26-year-old, who appeared to lose his cool in the closing stages and was consequently subbed off. Tidy in possession.
The 24-year-old put in an energetic and determined display in the Espanyol midfield, pressing Atletico high up the pitch and affording them little space and time on the ball.
He failed to shine against his former club and proved wasteful from set-piece situations. Struggled to get the better of Filipe down the right.
The Uruguayan was a constant threat with his willingness to run at the Atletico defence and he was involved in the majority of Espanyol's attacks.
He failed to add to his 10 league goals and found himself isolated up front. Managed to fashion a few opportunities for himself but could not test Courtois.
Although he ended up on the losing side on his return to the Vicente Calderon, he helped stretch the Atletico midfield with his accurate range of passing and neat touches.
The 22-year-old added steel to the midfield battle and his confidence on the ball ensured that Atletico kept possession in the latter stages.
The Brazilian is still settling into Atletico life on his return to the club, though he showed plenty of positive signs with his accurate range of passing.