"Today I can be happy with a job well done", Real coach Zinedine Zidane said.
Reflecting on his goal against Levante, his 100th in La Liga, Torres admitted he hopes he still has more to offer in his last few games with the club.
"He's earned this status and respect through hard work".
Torres' grievance this term has been a lack of playing time and he was a substitute again at the Wanda Metropolitano, replacing Antoine Griezmann, who was also on target.
Having lost 1-0 to Sporting CP on Thursday, the home side appeared to be suffering a Europa League hangover until Angel Correa broke through Levante's resistance in the 33rd minute.
Atletico remain four points clear of crosstown rivals Real Madrid in the race for second, while they trail league leaders Barcelona by 11 points. The striker starred for Atletico from 2001-07 before going to Liverpool and Chelsea, where he won Champions League and Europa League titles.
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"Barcelona's season is tremendous", Simeone said. It promises to be a long farewell.
Diego Rolan grabbed a consolation for Malaga with the last kick of the game but the result was never in doubt.
Atletico shaded the first half without creating too many clear-cut chances.
Frustrated at the end of the first half, Griezmann was all smiles early in the second when he thumped home Vrsaljko's cut-back ball from the right, the Croatian full-back cushioning the ball perfectly into the path of his team-mate's advancing run.
Griezmann was convinced he should have had a penalty before half-time when he ended a one-on-one by toppling over the hand of goalkeeper Oier Olazabal.
Fernando Torres, who is set to leave Atletico at the end of the season, was introduced just after the hour mark.
Torres eventually sealed the win for Atletico in the 77th minute by turning home Correa's in the box.