Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos saved his team yet again with a header in stoppage time, earning them a dramatic 3-2 win over Deportivo la Coruna, ensuring they broke the club's all-time unbeaten record and kept their six-point advantage over Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the 50th minute after receiving the ball from Isco and lashing it into the far corner from distance, but Deportivo struck back quickly.
Joselu scored a spectacular long-range drive in the 63rd before thrashing a second past Keylor Navas two minutes later, turning the game on its head.
However substitute Mariano Diaz scored in the 84th minute before Ramos, who scored a 90th minute equaliser in the Clasico last weekend, headed home Toni Kroos' corner to win the game in the 93rd minute, with the comeback ensuring Madrid went unbeaten for the 35th consecutive game.
Madrid achieved the victory without key players Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, all rested by Zinedine Zidane for their final league game of 2016, ahead of the trip to Japan for the Club World Cup.
Ramos said: “At the end of the day when you fight to the end, things go your way.
“They penalised our errors but in the end when you work hard you get results. There is a lot to think about. We should have had a more comfortable game.
“I’m happy to keep scoring goals, and above all, to keep reaching objectives.”
Having seen Barcelona beat Osasuna 3-0 in Pamplona earlier in the day, Madrid knew they needed to win to maintain the advantage they started the weekend with.
Both teams had chances in the first half but the hosts were the stronger side and when Morata scored a Madrid victory seemed inevitable.
They achieved it eventually but not before a series of twists, with former Real Madrid player Joselu striking twice against them.
Zidane reacted by throwing on Mariano, who reached Lucas Vazquez’s cross with his shoulder, knocking it past Przemyslaw Tyton and into the net.
Madrid turned up the pressure and their skipper scored yet another vital goal to hand them victory in the third minute of added time.
Barcelona had turned up the heat on Madrid with one goal from Luis Suarez and two from Lionel Messi against Osasuna.
They missed a host of chances in the first half with the eventual goalscorers the most guilty parties.
But Jordi Alba first set up Suarez and then Messi as the hosts’ resistance crumbled in the second period, with the Argentine tucking home his second in stoppage time after a magnificent solo dribble.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was pleased with the performance but said his team needed to keep improving to catch up with Real Madrid.
He said: ”It was key to score the first goal, it was harder than normal. I thought it was a good game. The team did well, they didn’t lose patience and kept creating chances.
“In fact, in the first half alone we deserved a comfortable victory. I’m happy with what I saw, we were the superior side and it’s about improving our performances to try and put pressure on the leaders, Real Madrid.”
Elsewhere Real Sociedad beat Valencia 3-2 to go fourth and leave Los Che 17th, while Las Palmas and Leganes shared a 1-1 draw.
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