The host bounced back from its UEFA Champions League semi-final elimination at the hands of Borussia Dortmund to close the gap on leader Barcelona to eight points ahead of its home match with Real Betis on Sunday evening (Monday morning AEST).
There are four rounds of matches left after this weekend.
The build-up to the clash with Valladolid was dominated by the future of coach
He helped the host recover from conceding an early goal to Oscar, making it 2-1 after
Sastre's brilliant volley got Valladolid a late third, but there was no dramatic equaliser as Madrid ensured arch-rival Barca will have to wait a while longer to take its league crown.
In the day's other matches, third-placed Atletico Madrid was held to a goalless draw at lowly Deportivo La Coruna but got the point it needed to be assured of UEFA Champions League football next season, while Valencia boosted its hopes of a top-four finish with a 4-0 win over nine-man Osasuna.
Two goals late in the first half from
David Timor then also saw red and Jonas added to the visitor's pain by scoring a penalty in injury-time.
Valencia's win saw it move to within two points of fourth-placed Real Sociedad, which plays Getafe on Monday evening (Tuesday morning AEST), and lifted it three points above sixth-placed Malaga as