Substitute Jese Rodriguez's late winner helped Real Madrid to beat Valencia and move to within five points of La Liga leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Gareth Bale was missing for third-placed Real after failing to recover from a calf injury and his replacement Angel di Maria opened the scoring.

Pablo Piatti headed in an equaliser for managerless Valencia before Cristiano Ronaldo nodded Real back ahead.

Home defender Jeremy Mathieu levelled again but Jese's low drive won it.

But Valencia goalkeeper Vicente Guaita will feel he should have stopped the decisive goal after allowing the 20-year-old's angled drive to squirm past his hands at the near post.

It was a match in which Real did not want drop any more points and fall further behind the top two going into the winter break.

And the relief of their players and coach Carlo Ancelotti was clearly evident as they celebrated the winner.

The hosts were led by reserve-team coach Nico Estevez - following Monday's sacking of Serbian coach Miroslav Djukic - and produced a plucky display at a noisy Mestalla.

But the six-time Spanish champions were unable to frustrate Real by equalising for a third time and remain 11th following a mixed start to the season.

The Spanish top-flight has a two-week break over the Christmas and New Year period, with La Liga clubs returning to action on 4 January.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Valencia

  • 13 Guaita
  • 12 João Pereira
  • 14 Bernat
  • 21 Parejo (Banega - 84' )
  • 05 Ruiz
  • 22 Mathieu Booked
  • 08 Feghouli
  • 06 Romeu
  • 07 Gonçalves Oliveira
  • 28 Nicolás Cartabia (Canales - 62' )
  • 02 Piatti Booked (Guardado - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Diego Alves
  • 10 Banega
  • 15 Fuego Martínez
  • 16 Alcácer García
  • 18 Guardado
  • 20 Ricardo Costa
  • 23 Canales

Real Madrid

  • 25 López
  • 17 Arbeloa Booked (Carvajal - 80' )
  • 12 Marcelo
  • 14 Alonso
  • 18 Nacho Booked
  • 04 Ramos
  • 22 Di María (Illarramendi - 87' )
  • 19 Modric
  • 09 Benzema
  • 23 Isco (Jesé - 73' )
  • 07 Ronaldo

Substitutes

  • 01 Casillas
  • 15 Carvajal
  • 16 Casemiro
  • 20 Jesé
  • 21 Morata
  • 24 Illarramendi
  • 38 Llorente
Ref: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
Att: 42,200

Match Stats

Shots

12 12

On target

5 5

Corners

3 6

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Valencia CF 2, Real Madrid 3.

90:00 +3:22 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Valencia CF 2, Real Madrid 3.

90:00 +2:39

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Jeremy Mathieu.

90:00 +2:37

Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

87:28

Attempt saved. Jonas (Valencia CF) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Sofiane Feghouli with a cross.

86:24 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Asier Illarramendi replaces Ángel Di María.

85:50

Offside, Valencia CF. Sergio Canales tries a through ball, but Jonas is caught offside.

84:56

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:56

Foul by Jonas (Valencia CF).

84:20

Foul by Ángel Di María (Real Madrid).

84:20

Éver Banega (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Valencia CF. Éver Banega replaces Daniel Parejo.

81:14 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Valencia CF 2, Real Madrid 3. Jesé (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Luka Modric.

80:34

Attempt blocked. Jesé (Real Madrid) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is blocked. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo with a headed pass.

79:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Daniel Carvajal replaces Álvaro Arbeloa.

79:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Valencia CF. Andrés Guardado replaces Pablo Piatti.

79:24

Offside, Valencia CF. Sergio Canales tries a through ball, but Sofiane Feghouli is caught offside.

76:04

Attempt missed. Jonas (Valencia CF) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Pablo Piatti following a fast break.

73:32

Attempt saved. Sergio Canales (Valencia CF) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Oriol Romeu.

72:37

Foul by Marcelo (Real Madrid).

72:37

Sergio Canales (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

72:13 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Madrid. Jesé replaces Isco.

70:02

Corner, Valencia CF. Conceded by Marcelo.

68:59

Offside, Real Madrid. Luka Modric tries a through ball, but Cristiano Ronaldo is caught offside.

66:58

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:58

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Valencia CF).

65:53

Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal.

65:00

Attempt saved. João Pereira (Valencia CF) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Daniel Parejo.

63:27 Booking

Booking Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

63:20

Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid).

63:20

Daniel Parejo (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Valencia CF 2, Real Madrid 2. Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia CF) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daniel Parejo with a cross following a corner.

61:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Valencia CF. Sergio Canales replaces Fede.

61:02

Corner, Valencia CF. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.

59:35

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

58:30

Delay in match Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) because of an injury.

57:04 Booking

Booking Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia CF) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

56:59

Isco (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

56:59

Foul by Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia CF).

56:23

Attempt missed. Juan Bernat (Valencia CF) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniel Parejo.

55:45

Attempt missed. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

54:48

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Jeremy Mathieu.

54:02 Booking

Booking Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

53:51

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

53:51

Foul by Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF).

50:37

Attempt missed. Fede (Valencia CF) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

50:03

Corner, Valencia CF. Conceded by Nacho.

50:01

Attempt blocked. Jonas (Valencia CF) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Parejo.

48:00

Foul by Marcelo (Real Madrid).

48:00

Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00

Second Half begins Valencia CF 1, Real Madrid 2.

45:00 +0:11 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Valencia CF 1, Real Madrid 2.

44:53

Foul by Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid).

44:53

Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:03

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:03

Foul by Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia CF).

41:28

Attempt missed. Jonas (Valencia CF) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by João Pereira.

40:38 Booking

Booking Nacho (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

40:28

Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

40:28

Fede (Valencia CF) wins a free kick on the left wing.

39:08 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Valencia CF 1, Real Madrid 2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Ángel Di María with a cross following a set piece situation.

38:17

Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

38:17

Dangerous play by Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF).

37:12

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Vicente Guaita.

37:08

Attempt saved. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from long range on the right is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Isco.

36:02

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

36:02

Foul by Víctor Ruiz (Valencia CF).

35:28

Attempt missed. Juan Bernat (Valencia CF) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a fast break.

34:44

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

34:44

Foul by João Pereira (Valencia CF).

33:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Valencia CF 1, Real Madrid 1. Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Juan Bernat with a cross.

32:30

Hand ball by Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF).

30:19

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:19

Foul by Jonas (Valencia CF).

27:17 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Valencia CF 0, Real Madrid 1. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Marcelo.

26:36

Offside, Valencia CF. Fede tries a through ball, but Jonas is caught offside.

26:24

Attempt blocked. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

24:53

Foul by Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid).

24:53

Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF) wins a free kick on the right wing.

24:07

Foul by Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

24:07

Oriol Romeu (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:45

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Jeremy Mathieu.

21:34

Foul by Isco (Real Madrid).

21:34

Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:53

Attempt missed. Daniel Parejo (Valencia CF) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jonas.

17:41

Foul by Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid).

17:41

Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

17:06

Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

16:37

Attempt blocked. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

15:59

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Jeremy Mathieu.

15:32

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by João Pereira.

12:46

Foul by Marcelo (Real Madrid).

12:46

Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

7:35

Foul by Nacho (Real Madrid).

7:35

Jonas (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:38

Offside, Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso tries a through ball, but Marcelo is caught offside.

4:58

Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

4:58

Foul by Oriol Romeu (Valencia CF).

3:50

Attempt blocked. Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Ramos with a headed pass.

3:00

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

3:00

Foul by Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia CF).

0:05

Pablo Piatti (Valencia CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:05

Foul by Álvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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