For the second time in a week, Karim Benzema has scored in the final minutes as Real Madrid gained ground on Atletico Madrid in the La Liga title race.
Benzema’s late brace earned Real a 2-1 win over Elche, cutting into Atletico’s advantage at the top after the leaders were held to a 0-0 draw at 10-man Getafe.
Real closed the gap to their cross-town rivals to six points with 11 rounds remaining.
Barcelona are one point behind Real in third place before they host bottom side Huesca on Monday.
Benzema’s brace came six days after his 88th-minute goal salvaged a 1-1 derby draw with Atletico.
Elche defender Dani Calvo headed the 17th-place visitors in front in the 61st minute at Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
But Benzema responded with a 73rd-minute equaliser, heading home substitute Luka Modric’s cross, before adding an exquisite half-volley in stoppage time for the winner.
“It wasn’t an easy game against a team that was well organised. We know that we have to make an extra effort to get to the top of the table,” Benzema said after taking his team-high tally to 20 goals in all competitions this season.
Both Sergio Ramos and Eden Hazard played their first matches for Real after being sidelined for several weeks with leg injuries.
Ramos played an hour as a starter. Hazard played the final quarter of an hour.
“I like the character my team showed,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane said.
Atletico pressured Getafe early in the game, forcing four quick corners and a save by David Soria to deny Yannick Carrasco.
But their attack stalled forcing Simeone to overhaul his line-up in the second half while Allan Nyom left the hosts a man down in the 70th when he earned a direct red card for recklessly driving his studs into the lower leg of substitute Renan Lodi.
Atletico poured forward with the extra space, and holes finally appeared in Getafe’s defence.
However, Soria swatted away goal-bound shots from Dembele and Felix before Luis Suarez curled an exquisite chipped shot over the goalkeeper only to hit the post in the 83rd.
“For me this is a step forward,” Atleti coach Diego Simeone said.
“Draw or win, it is always positive to earn points… in the second half we played well and I liked how we went on the attack.”
The draw lifts Getafe five points clear of the drop zone.
Elsewhere, two relegations battles ended in draws with Alaves and Cadiz 1-1 and Osasuna’s clash with Valladolid remaining goalless.