Ezequiel Garay's header seven minutes from time settled a five goal-thriller between Valencia and Real Madrid at the Mestalla on Saturday evening.
In one of La Liga's most absorbing match this season so far, Real emerged victorious despite twice being pegged back after goals by David Villa and Joaquin had cancelled out Gonzalo Higuain's brace, before Garay scored late on.
Both sides went into the match seeking to keep tabs with leaders Barcelona, who had defeated Espanyol 1-0 at the Camp Nou earlier in the day.
Real were without their attacking duo of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo through injury and suspension respectively whilst Valencia were without wing-wizard David Silva.
Bereft of their creative talents, both sides still served up a treat of clinical and eye-catching football in a fine showcase for top-flight Spanish football.
The hosts started the brighter with highly-rated youngster Juan Mata and Pablo Hernandez – in for David Silva – looking particularly lively, but it was full-back Jeremy Matheiu who had the first chance when his left-foot shot was deflected wide.
Real did not muster a chance until the half-hour when striker Karim Benzema shot just pass the post when he found himself in space.
Sergio Ramos then headed against the post from a corner as the visitors began to grow in confidence, but they were to suffer a big blow when defender Pepe landed awkwardly after attempting to head the ball clear.
Tests after the game confirmed that the Portuguese ace had suffered a knee injury and will be sidelined for up to six months.
Despite the first half ending goalless, there was enough to suggest that the goals were not far in coming, and sure enough eight minutes into the second half Los Blancos grabbed the lead when Benzema skipped around Bruno before clipping the ball back for Higuain who nodded into an empty net.
Unperturbed, Los Che rallied back and grabbed an equaliser five minutes later through La Liga's top goalscorer David Villa who headed home Matheiu's cross from the left.
By now the game was really beginning to open up and in the 65th minute Real once again took the lead through Higuain.
After a positive run by Mercelo in the midfield, the Brazilian slipped a nice ball into the box and 'El Pipita' was on hand to drive firmly beyond Cesar for 2-1.
But before Manuel Pellegrini could breathe a huge sigh of relief, substitute Joaquin found an equaliser with ten minutes left on the clock when he controlled Mathieu's cross on the edge of the box before firing past Casillas.
Once again in a big game Real were not winning, but before the Spanish press could even mutter the word Ronaldodepencia, defender Ezequiel Garay – on for the injured Pepe - headed in the winner on 83 minutes from a free-kick to seal a gripping match.
The win meant that Los Merengues kept to within five points of leaders Barcelona whilst Valencia fall eight points behind the champions.
As the norm, ExtraFootie provides the highlights of a gripping match below.