Real Madrid's brittle defense nearly spoiled another tremendous performance from Cristiano Ronaldo in a 3-2 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.
Madrid remained six points behind Spanish leader Barcelona, but only just as it nearly blew a 3-0 lead in a frantic finish set off after it surrendered a pair of second-half penalties to Jonathan Viera.
Madrid played the first 53 minutes - when Viera scored - to near perfection, with Ronaldo opening after three minutes from a counterattack.
Karim Benzema headed home a 31st-minute cross from Gareth Bale, whose cleverness led to a second assist in the 48th when he found a streaking Ronaldo inside the area.
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