Sergio Ramos hailed the fighting spirit of Real Madrid, as the European champions scored twice late on to secure a 3-2 La Liga win over Deportivo La Coruna.
Trailing 2-1 with six minutes remaining at the Santiago Bernabeu, Mariano equalised before Ramos enhanced his reputation as a scorer of crucial goals with a headed winner in stoppage time.
The victory saw Madrid set a new club record of 35 matches unbeaten across all competitions and maintained their six-point advantage at the La Liga summit with Barcelona having won 3-0 at Osasuna earlier on Saturday.
Zinedine Zidane's side will now travel to Japan for the FIFA Club World Cup and Ramos - who netted a 90th-minute equaliser in El Clasico last week - hailed Madrid's character after yet another late show.
"Historically, our spirit and this badge mean we have a duty to fight right to the end," he said. "When you fight until the death and believe in yourself and play with enthusiasm, ultimately things end up going for you.
"In the first half we had the chances to have got in front and then we left gaps at the back and they made the most of those on the counter. Thanks to a fantastic cross from [Toni] Kroos, I was able to add another goal to my tally.
"It's important to have that spirit and to compete until the last ball. The team was able to produce a reaction, take the three points and continue at the top of the table, and it was vital to close out the year in this manner.
"We've met our target, which was to pick up the three points in our final La Liga game of the year. Now it's time to go and enjoy the Club World Cup.
"On a personal note, I'm happy to continue helping the team with goals and on a collective level I'm pleased that we go marching on."