* Malaga up to fourth after trouncing Granada (Adds details, quotes)
By Iain Rogers
MADRID, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Mesut Ozil netted a superb double to fire Real Madrid to a 3-2 comeback win at Real Valladolid on Saturday that lifted Jose Mourinho's side within two points of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
On a chilly night at the Jose Zorrilla stadium Madrid looked to be heading for another setback, after defeat at Real Betis two weeks ago, as they twice fell behind to first-half goals from Angola forward Manucho.
First Karim Benzema and then Ozil levelled for the visitors before the break before the Germany midfielder stroked a delicious left-foot free kick in off the crossbar for a 72nd-minute winner.
"This is the Ozil we all want to see," assistant coach Aitor Karanka told a conference.
"The capacity of the team to fight back, something they had to do twice today, was the most memorable thing about the match," added Karanka as he stood in for Mourinho.
Third-placed Real, who are chasing a second straight title but have already been beaten three times this season, have 32 points from 15 matches.
Atletico are at home to Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday while unbeaten leaders Barcelona, who have a record 40 points, visit Betis in Sunday's late kickoff.
Erratic Malaga climbed to fourth after Joaquin, Javier Saviola, Ignacio Camacho and Roque Santa Cruz struck in a 4-0 home win over Granada in the Andalusian derby.
Through to the last 16 of the Champions League on their debut in the competition, Qatar-owned Malaga had lost three and drawn one of their previous five La Liga games but victory at the Rosaleda stadium gave them 25 points.
Betis also have 25 points in fifth spot while Valencia, down in 12th after a poor start to the season, seek a first win under new coach Ernesto Valverde at Osasuna in Saturday's late game.
Manucho gave Valladolid a surprise seventh-minute lead when Madrid failed to clear a corner and he smashed a shot past goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas.
Jose Callejon then picked up the ball after a slip by Marc Valiente and fed Benzema to level five minutes later before Manucho nipped ahead of Sergio Ramos and thumped home a header from another corner in the 22nd.
Madrid were level again on the stroke of halftime when Ozil exchanged passes with Benzema and squeezed a shot under Valladolid goalkeeper Dani Hernandez.
Both teams had chances in an open and entertaining game before Ozil's free kick settled the issue.
Third from bottom Granada made the livelier start on a treacherous Malaga pitch, recently relaid after the grass was infected with a virus, and home keeper Willy Caballero had to rescue his side with a couple of fine saves in the opening stages.
Former Spain winger Joaquin made it 1-0 in the 26th minute when he capitalised on a slip by defender Pape Diakhate and sped through the middle before finishing clinically.
Malaga fullback Jesus Gamez drove a long-range effort against the crossbar five minutes later before Saviola turned inside his marker and clipped a low shot into the corner to make it 2-0 in the 33rd.
The home team controlled the game in the second half and Camacho scored the third goal 15 minutes from time before substitute Santa Cruz volleyed in an 85th-minute fourth.
The match had an interesting sub plot as Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini and Granada's Juan Antonio Anquela had last locked horns when Pellegrini's Real Madrid suffered a shock exit to Anquela's third-tier Alcorcon in the 2009 King's Cup.
"Things are getting dramatic and of course I am worried about my job," said Anquela. "The only thing I can say is this team will climb out from down there and I have faith in them until the last second."
Eighth-placed Real Sociedad and Getafe, in sixth, exchanged late goals in a 1-1 draw at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian.
Angel Lafita nodded in a Jaime Gavilan cross to put the visitors in front in the 86th minute but Sociedad's Carlos Martinez headed home from Alberto De La Bella's centre in the first minute of added time. (Editing by Tony Jimenez)
- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- Mesut Ozil
- La Liga
- Real Valladolid