Real Madrid needed another late winner to edge closer to the La Liga title as Marcelo was the hero in a 2-1 home victory over Valencia on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring midway through the first half but also saw a penalty saved by spot-kick specialist Diego Alves early in the second period.
Former Madrid man Dani Parejo looked to have handed Valencia an unlikely point with a stunning free-kick eight minutes from time.
Real stormed forward and needed just four minutes to find the winner when Marcelo cut inside and fired into the far corner.
Real now lead Barcelona by three points at the top of the table with four games to go for both sides.
Barca, though, can move back to the summit of La Liga with victory in the Catalan derby later at Espanyol.
Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane accepted his side nearly paid the price for taking their foot off the gas at 1-0.
“It is true that we were in a comfort zone for 30 minutes, the fans were the same,” said the Frenchman.
“After Valencia scored they started to push the players on once more and it was a completely different match.”
The Brazilian Marcelo added: “We put our heart and soul into it and showed who we are
“With the fans behind us we are hard to beat here.”