A dubious injury-time Cristiano Ronaldo penalty was enough to move Real Madrid back to within two points of La Liga leaders Barcelona with a 2-1 win away to Elche on Wednesday night.
However, the hosts were left furious with referee Cesar Muniz Fernandez when, after failing to show Sergio Ramos a second yellow card for a clear bodycheck on Coro in the first half, he pointed to the spot in the fourth minute of added time when Pepe fell to the ground under pressure from Carlos Sanchez.
Ronaldo put the visitors ahead from a free-kick early in the second half, but Richmond Boakye thought he had rescued a point when he headed home in the 91st minute before the late drama.
Madrid started the second period with more purpose and were rewarded just six minutes after the restart when Ronaldo’s free-kick bounced just in front of Manu Herrera and he could only help it on its way into the net.
However, after having gone in front, Madrid took their foot off the gas and were finally punished in stoppage-time when Elche produced their best move of the match to equalize.
However, the drama did not end there, when, having signaled for there to be three minutes of added time, Fernandez allowed a Madrid corner to be taken well into the 94th minute and then pointed to the spot when Pepe hit the ground.
After a number of Elche players were booked for protesting, Ronaldo kept his cool and drilled the ball low into the corner to earn his side a precious three points.
In the night’s earlier matches, Sevilla moved off the bottom of the table as they beat Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 4-1 to secure their first victory of the season, while Valencia’s mini revival continued as Jonas Goncalves struck with virtually the last kick of the game to hand them a 1-0 win at Granada and move Miroslav Djukic’s men up to seventh.