Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to settle Real Madrid's jitters with a superb lob that completed a 4-2 home victory over Real Valladolid in La Liga on Saturday.
Manuel Pellegrini's side, who were without injured forward Cristiano Ronaldo, had suffered their first defeat of the campaign away to Sevilla last time out and never really impressed against their 17th-placed opponents.
Raul scored twice in quick succession and Marcelo added a third before the break after Nauzet Aleman had scored a great freekick for the visitors.
But Marquitos put Valladolid back in the game again early in the second half and they grew in confidence until Argentine substitute Higuain lifted the ball over Jacobo in a one-on-one 11 minutes from time.
Real Madrid moved to the top of the standings with 18 points, the same as champions Barcelona, who were playing away to Valencia in the late game.
Earlier, Juan Rodriguez's spectacular strike gave Deportivo Coruna a 1-0 home win over in-form Sevilla.
The midfielder lashed in a shot from distance in the 38th minute, and Deportivo's well-organised defence kept the visitors at bay to make it 15 points from seven games for the Galicians.
Deportivo remain fourth but are level on points with Sevilla in third.