Madrid: Real Madrid registered their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions as two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo led them to a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo. (Agencies)
Despite dominating for long spells in the first-half, Madrid couldn't find a way past Celta goalkeeper Javi Varas until just after the hour mark when Ronaldo swept home a loose ball from close range.
The lead lasted barely two minutes as Iago Aspas' deflected effort wrong-footed Diego Lopez to bring Celta level.
However, for all his good work in the first-half, Varas was at fault for the winner as he clipped Kaka inside the area and Ronaldo stepped up to smash home the penalty for his 42nd goal of the season.
Jose Mourinho again rested a number of first-team regulars as he made seven changes from the side that defeated Manchester United in midweek.
Pepe was one of those recalled to the line-up and he stressed that it is important for Real to continue winning in the league, even if the Champions League and Copa del Rey are now their primary targets.
"We missed quite a lot of chances in the first half, but the team knew how to get through the difficult moments, fought hard and in the end the victory was deserved," he said.
"As Real Madrid players we are very concentrated on what we have to do. "It will be very difficult to fight for the league but any player that puts on the Madrid shirt always has to be motivated and honour the jersey."
The changes did seem to have an effect early on as Celta started the stronger, but Madrid slowly started to take control and only a host of saves from Varas prevented them going into the break with a comfortable lead.
Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Marcelo were all denied by Varas before Jose Maria Callejon also fired wastefully at the 'keeper when clean through on goal and Ronaldo hit the bar with a header from close range.
Madrid: Real Madrid registered their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions as two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo led them to a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.