Late goals from Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid a dramatic 2-1 victory over Valencia on Sunday night.
Real had gone behind in the second half after making a poor start to the game. As they have so many times before though, Los Blancos managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat courtesy of two fine finishes.
The first half saw few chances but plenty of injuries with Carlos Soler, Thierry Correia and Dani Carvajal all forced off before the break. This resulted in a stop-start game and for the most part, both sides cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges.
Gabriel Paulista went closest for the hosts, failing to head home from just outside the six-yard box. Meanwhile, Fede Valverde and Casemiro both forced Giorgi Mamardashvili into action with fairly speculative efforts.
Valencia came out of the blocks strong in the second half with Hugo Duro and Goncalo Guedes both spurning good chances to take the lead. Eventually, the home side did get the breakthrough. Hugo Duro made no mistake this time, latching onto Lucas Vazquez's botched clearance and lashing the ball home.
Going behind gave Real the jolt they needed and they soon sprung into action. After a period of intense pressure a three-minute double salvo earned them all three points. Vinicius Junior and Benzema combined for both goals, with the first - scored by the Brazilian - a precise finish and the second a poacher's header.
The victory moves Carlo Ancelotti's side to the summit of the La Liga table with four wins and a draw from their first five matches.
Here are your Real player ratings from Estadio de Mestalla...
Real Madrid player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - 6/10 - Made a few important saves just after the break when Valencia were looking threatening. Not a lot he could do about the goal.
Dani Carvajal (RB) - 6/10 - Forced off midway through the first half with an injury. It was worrying, especially considering his recent fitness issues, but he did not look in too much discomfort.
Eder Militao (CB) - 4/10 - Was not so great in the air, losing all four of his aerial duels. Might have done more to deny the goal.
David Alaba (CB) - 7/10 - Forced to do a lot of defending throughout the game and coped well. He will be so important for Real this season as their other defenders do not look up to scratch.
Nacho Fernandez (LB) - 5/10 - Caused real problems by Yunus Musa, picking up a poor yellow card in the second half.
Federico Valverde (CM) - 6/10 - Impressed in both directions, plugging gaps defensively and surging into space on the ball.
Casemiro (CM) - 5/10 - Still not firing on all cylinders this season. He looked a bit leggy when Valencia broke forward and made a couple of clumsy tackles. His passing was spot on, though.
Luka Modric (CM) - 5/10 - Did not control the game as we know he can but did have some bright moments before being taken off when Real went 1-0 down.
Eden Hazard (RW) - 6/10 - One of his brighter evenings at Madrid. He created a decent amount of opportunities and broke the lines with his dribbling. Still not at his best, though. Will he ever be again?
Karim Benzema (ST) - 8/10 - Worked extremely hard and linked things together in the final third. Created the equaliser and then scored the winner. What a man.
Vinicius Junior (LW) - 8/10 - A real tricky customer. He was on the end of some physical challenges but did not wilt under the pressure and thoroughly outshone Hazard. Scored again, assisted again.
Lucas Vazquez - 5/10 - Helped out with Real's build-up play by pushing high and staying narrow. Forced it at times. Made a terrible error for Valencia's goal.
Rodrygo - 6/10 - Almost grabbed a terrific equaliser soon after he came on.
Eduardo Camavinga - 7/10 - Very good after coming on. He covered every blade of grass and used the ball efficiently.
Luka Jovic - N/A
Isco - N/A