Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to give Real Madrid a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo on Sunday, lifting Jose Mourinho's side provisionally into second place in the Spanish league.
Except for Celta's initial and last-gasp surges, Madrid had the better of the scoring chances at Balaidos Stadium despite Mourinho making several changes to his starting team following a week featuring wins over Barcelona and Manchester United.
Ronaldo was well positioned to score from a loose ball in the 61st minute. Striker Iago Aspas leveled against the run of play two minutes later, but the Portugal forward converted a spot kick earned by Kaka in the 72nd.
Ronaldo has 26 league goals this season, second only to Barcelona forward Lionel Messi with 40.
Madrid trails Barcelona by 13 points, and Atletico can regain its status as nearest chaser with a win over Real Sociedad later.