Karim Benzema’s brilliant strike gave the league leaders the advantage at half-time and when Sergio Ramos made it 2-0 most fans thought the match was over. But Valencia never rolled over and two goals from Roberto Soldado made sure that Madrid had to fight until the final whistle to wrap up all three points. The match winner was scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, his 14th league goal of the season.
Barcelona played earlier in the day and they had briefly drawn level at the top of the table after beating Real Zaragoza 4-0 at home. Barcelona got a couple of goals from unlikely sources in this one, as both Gerard Piqué and captain Carles Puyol were target for the first time this season. Barca also got goals from more familiar goal scorers with Lionel Messi scoring his 15th of the season before David Villa rounded off the scoring.
Elsewhere, Villarreal rediscovered winning ways with only their third league success of the campaign, a 1-0 defeat of Real Betis Balompié. Remarkable that here we are in mid-November and Villarrealo has only won three league games all season. Borja Valero was the one who secured all three points for the yellow submariners.