Mesut Ozil netted a superb double to fire Real Madrid [ Images ] to a 3-2 comeback win at Real Valladolid on Saturday and lift Jose Mourinho's side within two points of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga [ Images ].
On a chilly night at the Jose Zorrilla stadium, Madrid looked to be heading for another setback, after defeat at Real Betis two weeks ago, as they twice fell behind to first-half goals from Angola forward Manucho.
However, Karim Benzema and Ozil levelled for the visitors before the break and their Germany [ Images ] midfielder then stroked a delicious left-foot free kick in off the crossbar for a 72nd-minute winner.
"This is the Ozil we all know and we all want to see," assistant Real coach Aitor Karanka said.
"The capacity of the team to fight back, something they had to do twice today, was the most memorable thing about the match," he added.
It was a classy performance from playmaker Ozil, who has shown similar flashes of brilliance but lacked consistency since joining from Werder Bremen [ Images ] in 2010.
Third-placed Real, who are chasing a second straight title but have already lost three times this season, have 32 points from 15 matches.
Atletico are at home to Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday while unbeaten leaders Barcelona [ Images ], who have a record 40 points, visit fifth-placed Betis in Sunday's late kickoff.
Erratic Malaga climbed to fourth after Joaquin, Javier Saviola, Ignacio Camacho and Roque Santa Cruz struck in a 4-0 home win over Granada in the Andalusian derby.
Through to the last 16 of the Champions League [ Images ] on their debut in the competition, Qatar-owned Malaga had lost three and drawn one of their previous five La Liga games but victory at the Rosaleda stadium gave them 25 points.
Valencia's new coach Ernesto Valverde enjoyed a winning start in his first game in charge when his side won 1-0 at struggling Osasuna in the late game.
Valencia, who sacked Mauricio Pellegrino after a rocky start to their La Liga campaign, climbed to ninth on 21 points while Osasuna are 16th on 13, a point above the relegation places.
Eighth-placed Real Sociedad and Getafe, in sixth, exchanged late goals in a 1-1 draw at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian.
Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images