Marcos Llorente’s first-half goal kept Atletico Madrid on course for the La Liga title as the leaders edged Elche, who missed a late penalty.
Yannick Carrasco found Llorente inside the box and the forward’s deflected strike beat goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
Llorente then gave away a spot-kick in the 90th minute after handling the ball.
But Atletico escaped late drama as Fidel Chaves’ penalty beat goalkeeper Jan Oblak but came back off the post.
The win moved Atletico on to 76 points with four games remaining.