Sergio Ramos headed another dramatic injury-time goal as Spanish league leaders Real Madrid created a new club record of 35 matches unbeaten with a barely deserved win against Deportivo La Coruna.
Zinedine Zidane’s side laboured in an uninspiring first half which saw Depor midfielder Celso Borges head against the post.
It was the first time since May 2014 that Madrid had started a La Liga game with neither Bale or the rested Ronaldo and Benzema in their line-up, and they were indebted to late goals from Mariano Diaz and Sergio Ramos to secure a new club record of 35 matches unbeaten.
Striker Alvaro Morata’s 20-yard drive shortly after the restart appeared to ease the tension among the home fans.
However, Depor substitute Joselu – on loan from English Premier League side Stoke – swung the match dramatically in favour of the visitors.
But two goals from former Madrid prospect Joselu with just over an hour played turned the match on its head and left the hosts rattled.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s bold attacking tactics towards the end paid off, as Mariano levelled and then Ramos – also Madrid’s last-gasp saviour in El Clasico last week – secured the win, ensuring the club’s unbeaten record remains intact ahead of Thursday’s Club World Cup semi-final.