CRISTIANO Ronaldo scored his 300th competitive Real Madrid goal as they beat Rayo Vallecano to stay four points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Real had goalkeeper Iker Casillas to thank for being level at the break after being outplayed.
Gareth Bale’s diving header was just wide after the break for the improved visitors before Ronaldo was denied a clear penalty.
Ronaldo finally headed home before James Rodriguez curled in a second.
The Portuguese’s 300 Real goals have come in 288 games since joining from Manchester United for Â£80m in 2009.
He is the third player after Raul (323) and Alfredo Di Stefano (307) to reach 300 goals for Real. His rivals needed 741 and 396 matches respectively to reach that mark.
The 30-year-old scored five goals for the first time in Real’s 9-1 hammering of Granada at the weekend but things were a lot nervier for the European champions on Wednesday night.
Until Ronaldo headed home Dani Carvajal’s right-wing cross, Real looked in serious danger of being upset by their battling city neighbours and falling seven points behind Barca.
Ronaldo earlier had a blatant penalty appeal waved away after a clear foul by Antonio Amaya but he wasn’t to be denied as he took his league tally for the season to 37 goals.
Colombian Rodriguez gave the scoreline a flattering look with a cool curled finish late on as Real responded to Barcelona’s earlier 4-0 win against Almeria. – BBC Sport