Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema fired Real Madrid to a 2-1 win at home to Rayo Vallecano to go top of LaLiga on Saturday.
Real had drawn their last two league games at the Santiago Bernabeu 0-0 but got off to a strong start when Toni Kroos drilled a shot into the top corner in the 14th minute after Marco Asensio had cut into the area from the right wing.
Their top scorer Benzema doubled their lead in the 38th by knocking in a defence-splitting pass from defender David Alaba.
Real looked to be cruising their way to victory until Radamel Falcao came off the bench in the second half and soon scored a header, with the help of a deflection off Alaba, to put Rayo back in contention in the 76th minute.
The goal awakened the visitors and struck fear into the hosts as Rayo had two late chances to grab an equaliser, Kroos clearing the ball off the line following a goalmouth scramble and keeper Thibaut Courtois tipping an Unai Lopez attempt over the bar.
The win took Real on to 27 points after 12 games, two above second-placed Real Sociedad who have also played 12 but can return to the summit if they beat Osasuna on Sunday. (Reuters)