David Beckham made a dramatic goal-scoring return for Real Madrid as the Spanish giants beat Real Sociedad 2-1 to breathe new life into their title campaign.
Ironically, the former England skipper's performance may also have helped save Fabio Capello's job.
The Italian coach had vowed Beckham would never play for him again after the ex-Manchester United man signed a 250-million-dollar deal to move to Los Angeles Galaxy in the United States at the end of the season.
But with Madrid in danger of slipping off the championship pace, and the Spanish media predicting the axe for Capello if they lost on Saturday, the 31-year-old Beckham made a fairytale return.
He found the net in the 36th minute with a trademark, right-foot 25-metre free-kick which sneaked around the side of the two-man Sociedad wall, beat Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and pulled Real level at 1-1.
"I am happy that Beckham scored," said Capello.
"All the team is happy for him. I have spoken with him twice in the course of the last two weeks but what we said will remain just between us."
On Friday, when Capello announced that Beckham had been recalled, the Italian had been fulsome in his praise of the player.
"He is a great professional and we are counting on him until the end of the season," said Capello.
Recognising he was too hasty to drop one of his most experienced players, Capello said, "The wise thing to do was to rectify" his original decision.