Karim Benzema scored a late winner to complete a second-half brace as Real Madrid moved up to second in LaLiga with a 2-1 comeback victory at home to struggling Elche.
The reigning LaLiga champions tried to stamp their authority early on as Raphael Varane fired Casemiro’s pass over the crossbar in the otherwise relatively-quiet opening exchanges at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.
At the other end, Elche winger Tete Morente wasted a good opportunity for the visitors midway through the first half with a poorly-struck cross from the right.
Johan Mojica forced a Real clearance after 26 minutes, and soon after Isco saw his long-range strike saved in the centre of the goal by Elche goalkeeper Edgar Badia as the hosts attempted to break the deadlock.
Guido Carrillo headed Mojica’s cross wide as the struggling away side fought hard to get their noses ahead but Real hit back with a number of chances – including two close efforts from Benzema – before the break.
The hosts came out of the blocks fastest in the second half with Benzema fizzing a great chance wide before Isco’s effort was blocked.
Thibaut Courtois made a second good save of the afternoon to deny Carrillo and Elche’s pressure paid off as they took the lead in the 61st minute when Dani Calvo headed the ball home via the crossbar following a corner.
But the hosts hit back as Benzema equalised with a close-range header after 73 minutes.
The Frenchman then snatched a late winner at the death as he slotted Rodrygo’s assist into the bottom corner for his fifth goal from the last four and 20th of the season in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane’s side.