Cristiano Ronaldo struck eight minutes from time to rescue a point for Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw away to city rivals Atletico on Sunday in a typically fiery La Liga derby.
Atletico had fought back to lead 2-1 and were closing in on a first home win against Real in nearly 15 years before Ronaldo pounced on a loose ball and fired into the corner to maintain Real`s three-point advantage over their neighbours at the top.
It was the Portugal forward`s 23rd goal of the campaign and extended Real`s unbeaten run to 28 matches, stretching back to a 2-1 reverse away to champions Barcelona at the end of October.
Atletico forced their way back into the game with the trademark intensity and aggression instilled in them by coach Diego Simeone but Real`s superior quality proved decisive in the second half and earned them a deserved point.
Real have 64 points with 12 matches left, with Atletico second on 61 and Barca, who host promoted Almeria later on Sunday (2000 GMT), in third on 60.
“The draw leaves us feeling a bit disappointed because in the second half we were clearly dominating and deserved another goal or two,” Real captain Sergio Ramos said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.
“We are still three points clear and we need to keep improving and collecting points,” added the Spain centre back.