Real Madrid trailed twice before fighting back with three goals in a seven-minute span to beat Real Mallorca 5-2 in La Liga and avoid another slip-up to a low-profile side.
Mallorca entered the match after back-to-back wins and led 2-1 at the Bernabéu Stadium after goals from Emilio Nsue and Alejandro Alfaro, both set up by Giovani dos Santos, with Gonzalo Higuaín scoring in between for the hosts.
After a sluggish first half, Cristiano Ronaldo sparked Madrid to life with an equaliser in the 51st minute that took his league tally to 27 goals this season.
Luka Modric put Madrid ahead three minutes later with a screamer, similar to his Champions League goal against Manchester United, and Higuaín added another in the 57th. Higuaín then set up Karim Benzema to polish off the rout in stoppage time.
“We knew that Mallorca were playing well recently and they took the lead twice, but the important thing is that the team was able to pull out the win,” said Higuaín. “We need to keep winning so Barcelona can’t relax.”
While able to win against major opponents such as Barcelona and United, Madrid’s title defence has been undermined due to poor showings to modest Spanish teams this season. The defending champions trail Barcelona by 10 points after losing to opponents such as Getafe, Granada, Real Betis and Sevilla, plus drawing at Osasuna and at home to Espanyol this season.