Míchel Sanchez has soaked up the applause after his Girona team, the surprise leaders of the Spanish league, won again.
This time, however, the cheers came from opposing Rayo Vallecano fans following Girona's 2-1 comeback win on Saturday.
Míchel played most of his career as a midfielder for Rayo, and he returned as a coach for the modest Madrid-based club. The Rayo faithful greeted him with signs bearing his name and chants of "Míchel! Míchel!"
The 48-year-old Míchel returned to coach Rayo for two seasons before eventually making it to northeast Catalonia to take over at Girona in 2021.
Now, he has turned Girona into one of the sensations of European soccer.
Girona clicked once again at Vallecas Stadium. Ukraine striker Artem Dovbyk was set up by countryman Viktor Tsyhankov in the 42nd minute for his team-high seventh goal of the season. That canceled out Álvaro García's sixth-minute opener for Rayo.
The two Ukrainians played a part in Sávio's go-ahead goal in the 65th as well.
Girona, who two seasons ago were in the second division, are partly controlled by Manchester City's Abu Dhabi ownership even though they have one of the lowest payrolls in the league of just 51 million euros ($A85 million).
The numbers are impressive for the Catalan team who are in only their fourth season in the top flight in club history.
They have 11 wins in 13 rounds, including six wins in seven road games, and have five come-from-behind victories. Their only loss came at home to Madrid in September. They lead the league with 31 goals scored.
"This team showed again that it does not give up, and we seem to play better when we are behind," said midfielder Aleix García, who was called up by Spain this week.
"We have bigger goals now. We can dream," García said. "We deserve to be where we are. We have a very tight group. We are like a family."
For a second straight game, Madrid had no problem scoring while Jude Bellingham nursed a hurt shoulder.
Bellingham, who leads the league with 10 goals and has scored 13 overall for his new club, was in the stands at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Right back Dani Carvajal put Madrid ahead just three minutes after kickoff when he volleyed a shot from outside the area.
Hugo Duro had three good chances to pull Valencia level. But Andriy Lunin saved Duro's first two shots before the striker failed when trying to head in a cross that reached right in front of the goal.
Moments later Vinícius was celebrating his first goal in the 42nd after he dove and used his chest to turn in a low bouncing cross from Rodrygo.
The Brazil winger added a second goal in the 49th when he blasted in a right-footed shot from outside the area.
A minute later Rodrygo made it four after intercepting a poor pass by goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili. He then added a fifth in the 84th.
Duro got his goal for Valencia late.
Sixth-place Real Sociedad scored twice in stoppage time to win 3-1 at last-place Almeria.