Casemiro headed an 89th-minute winner to earn Real Madrid a barely deserved 2-1 victory at Las Palmas in La Liga on Sunday as they closed the gap on second-placed Atletico Madrid to four points.
The Brazilian midfielder’s first goal for the club came off a corner two minutes after the home side’s Willian Jose had equalised after a misplaced pass from Madrid substitute Mateo Kovacic.
Barcelona beat Getafe 6-0 on Saturday and are eight points clear of Atletico.
Sergio Ramos’s flicked header had given Real the lead in the 24th against a determined Las Palmas, who had won their previous three league games to move clear of the relegation zone.
Ramos was sent off in added time for a second booking, earning the 20th red card of his Real Madrid career.
The Spain international, who holds the unwanted title of the player with the most red cards in Real Madrid’s history, is suspended from next Sunday’s match against former side Sevilla as is Portuguese centre-back Pepe.
Third-placed Real are 10 points clear of fourth placed Villarreal, who lost 4-2 at fifth placed Sevilla.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane did not hide his feelings about his side’s display after the match.
“I’m very worried about our second half performance. We gave the ball away an incredible amount of times and if we want to achieve anything this season we have to play better, that’s clear,” he told a news conference.
“We won’t get anywhere playing like this.”