Marcelo proved the unlikely hero as Real Madrid snatched a dramatic 2-1 win over Valencia at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
The full-back fired home with four minutes of normal time remaining after Dani Parejo had cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s 20th LaLiga goal of the season.
The result puts Madrid back to the top of the table, three points above champions Barcelona ahead of their derby match with Espanyol later on Saturday.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were beaten 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Mestalla in February and almost found themselves a goal down inside the first minute, with Santi Mina hitting the post from inside the area.
Madrid began to settle and Ronaldo turned the ball in from Dani Carvajal’s cross midway through the first half – his first goal in the top flight since March 12.
The home side missed chances to double their lead, with Ronaldo seeing a spot-kick saved by Diego Alves for the third time in four attempts, and their profligacy was punished eight minutes from time as Parejo swept in a sublime free-kick.
But Marcelo’s brilliant solo goal salvaged a second win in a row since Madrid’s Clasico defeat and ensured that the title race remains firmly in their hands.
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