Real Madrid’s hopes of winning a 33rd league title were kept alive through a 3-2 win over Valencia on Sunday.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored their 33rd and 24th league goals of the season respectively, as Los Che lost their second game in a row and are now without a win in their last three.
As the first-half progressed, Real gradually found their rhythm and took the lead through a Ronaldo goal after 26 minutes.
Marcelo found space on the left to fire the ball into the feet of the Portuguese forward, who left Aymen Abdennour in his wake and fired into the bottom corner to give Los Blancos the lead.
Karim Benzema then made it 2-0 just before half-time.
Confusion surrounded the Frenchman’s finish after he appeared to be offside and Abdennour went down injured during the build-up, but it didn’t matter as Zinedine Zidane’s team headed to the dressing room deservedly in front.
Valencia, however, had other ideas and stunned the Bernabeu on the 55th-minute mark, with Rodrigo Moreno firing in to make the deficit just one.
It didn’t last long, though, as Ronaldo scored his second of the game three minutes later, rifling a left-footed shot past Diego Alves.
Zidane made eight changes from the Champions League semi-final win over Manchester City on Wednesday, with Kiko Casilla replacing first choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The former Espanyol goalkeeper was helpless for Rodrigo’s goal but made a fine save to deny Parejo soon after Real had gone 3-1 up, getting down well to his left to palm the ball away for a corner.
Los Che, to their credit, remained composed in the face of adversity and were once again looking to the skies as Casilla kept out Alcacer and Shkordan Mustafi in quick succession.
Andre Gomes eventually found a way past Real’s shot-stopper after 81 minutes, scoring a sublime finish to make it an interesting final nine minutes.
Valencia then went down to ten-men two minutes later, Rodrigo being sent off for what appeared to be for dissent towards James Rodriguez.
Real eventually held out for their 27th league win of the season and go into the final day of the season against Deportivo La Coruna with the league title still firmly in their sights.
Zidane’s side are now one point behind leaders Barcelona and two ahead of Atletico Madrid in third.