MADRID - Mesut Ozil grabbed two goals as Real Madrid twice came from behind to defeat Valladolid 3-2 on Saturday and close to within eight points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
The German international's brace included an exquisitely-curled, left-footed winner from a free-kick on 71 minutes to keep Madrid on the tails of Barca and second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Former Manchester United striker Manucho twice gave Valladolid first-half leads that Karim Benzema and Ozil cancelled out.
Barcelona go to Real Betis on Sunday while Atletico, now only two points ahead of their city neighbours, entertain Deportivo La Coruna.
"The most important thing are the three points and that we stay in the fight. There is a lot of league left," Ozil said.
Real coach Jose Mourinho sent out his assistant Aitor Karanka to face the press and he was full of praise for the match winner.