MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid's attack brought one Rayo Vallecano player to tears before its defense nearly spoiled another tremendous performance from Cristiano Ronaldo in a 3-2 win on Saturday.
Madrid's victory kept it six points behind Spanish leader Barcelona, but only just as it nearly blew a three-goal lead during a frantic finish set off after it surrendered a pair of second-half penalties.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will have no conundrum about selecting his attack for Tuesday's Champions League match at Juventus as Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema once again showed Madrid's potency up front.
Rayo defender Anaitz Arbilla was in tears after being substituted in the 51st minute, moments before Jonathan Viera scored a pair of spot kicks to turn the game with Madrid on the verge of conceding an equalizer at Vallecas Stadium right to the final whistle.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti called Madrid's second half defensive performance "disastrous."
"To think that the game is over when you're winning 3-0 is a grave error," Ancelotti said. "It's happened twice now, and I am sure it will not happen for a third time."
Madrid's attack picked up from Wednesday's 7-3 win over Sevilla as Luka Modric sent Ronaldo racing down the left and skipping past his marker to move clear into the area and fire the third-minute opener past goalkeeper Ruben Martinez.
Bale picked out Benzema inside the area with a cross from the right to head home in the 31st for 2-0.
The winger showed cleverness when he flicked a ball over Arbilla to get free along the goal-line and he picked out Ronaldo streaking into the area to fire into the top of goal in the 48th.
Madrid was dominating the bottom table club until Pepe kicked out at Viera — whose inopportune touch earlier waived off a Iago Falque goal because of offside — and Marcelo flew into Alberto Bueno to set up Viera's goals in the 53rd and 55th.
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