Real Madrid moved back to the La Liga summit as they clinched a 2-1 win over Valencia in a dramatic finale at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
- Real Madrid 2 Valencia 1
- Ronaldo gives Real first-half lead
- Benzema hits post after break
- Parejo equalised with late free-kick
- Marcello strikes at the death
The hosts went into the clash level on 78 points with Barcelona, and they made a subdued start in the Spanish capital, eventually opening the scoring in the 27th minute and taking a 1-0 lead into the break.
Los Blancos looked more lively in the second half but they struggled to break down the visitors again, and a late equaliser looked to hand Barca the advantage in the title race before a winner four minutes from time took Zinedine Zidane's side top of the table on their own.
Real adopted a cautious approach after almost conceding in the second minute, as Santi Mina got in behind the home defence to force Keylor Navas into a save and the forward hit the outside of the post on the follow-up after a mistake from Sergio Ramos.
Los Blancos carved out their first opening on 12 minutes when Dani Carvajal linked up with James Rodriguez on the right, the Colombian's subsequent cross headed straight at Diego Alves by Karim Benzema at the back post.
Two chances in quick succession followed at either end on 18 minutes as Fabian Orellana latched onto Nani's through-ball and fired well wide of the right post, before Benzema tested Diego Alves with a shot on the turn moments later after receiving the ball from James inside the area.
But Real broke the deadlock on 27 minutes when Carvajal found acres of space on the right to send in a cross for Cristiano Ronaldo to steer a low header past Alves.
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) April 29, 2017
The capital club posed no further threat in the first half, which drew to a close with Munir lashing a shot well wide of the left post from the edge of the box.
The woodwork came to Los Che's rescue 10 minutes into the second half as Benzema shifted the ball onto his right foot before cracking a shot against the left post from 18 yards out, and Real were handed a glorious chance to double their advantage moments later when they won a penalty.
Dani Parejo was adjudged to have held back Luka Modric, a decision that looked harsh, but Ronaldo failed to capitalise as his spot-kick was saved by Alves, who guessed the correct side.
The Portuguese forward had two strikes deflected wide from inside the box and Benzema curled an effort well past the right post from 18 yards out as the home team looked to kill the game off.
But Voro's men snatched an unlikely equaliser on 82 minutes to seemingly halt Real's title charge. Parejo struck from a free-kick 25 yards out that he expertly curled into the top-left corner of the net.
Parity lasted just four minutes, however, as Marcelo collected a cross from Alvaro Morata on the edge of the box and cut onto his right foot before steering a shot beyond Alves to hand Los Blancos all three points.
Saturday afternoon's other result:
Real Sociedad 2-1 Granada