Real Madrid CF suffered their first defeat in eleven games when they lost 2-1 at RCD Espanyol.
Real Madrid CF suffered their first defeat in eleven games when they were beaten 2-1 by RCD Espanyol at the Montjuic stadium on Sunday.
Madrid got off to a flying start as Raúl González clipped home a Flavio Conceiçao cross to score his eleventh goal of the season after just 24 seconds. But Francisco Flores's side, beaten 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium earlier in the season, fought back to spoil Vicente del Bosque's 100th game as Madrid coach.
The home side drew level when Enrique de Lucas finished off the best passing move of the match by cracking a superb shot into the top corner on 33 minutes. Espanyol striker Raúl Tamudo then grabbed the winner 15 minutes from time when he fired into the roof of the net following a goalmouth scramble after an Álex Fernández free-kick.
The defeat means RC Celta de Vigo, who claimed a hard-earned 1-0 win at RCD Mallorca on Saturday, stay top of the Primera División table on goal difference ahead of Madrid.
Betis into fifth
Real Betis Balompié moved above FC Barcelona into fifth place with a hard-fought 2-0 win against Real Valladolid at the Benito Villamarín stadium, as two goals from Gabriel Amato, in the 18th and 81st minutes, sealed the victory.
Málaga CF eased their relegation worries with a 1-1 draw against UD Las Palmas at La Rosaleda. Fernando Sanz put through his own goal to give Las Palmas the lead after ten minutes but Kiki Musampa pulled Málaga level with 16 minutes remaining. The hosts finished the match with ten men after Darío Silva was sent off in the final minute.
In Sunday’s other match, Club Atlético Osasuna and Real Zaragoza both remain in relegation trouble after their match at the El Sadar stadium finished in a goalless draw.
Valencia on course
In the evening game Valencia CF kept their title challenge on course as goals from Mista and Francisco Rufete saw off Athletic Club Bilbao at the Mestalla stadium.
Within a point
The home side closed to within a point of joint-leaders Real Madrid CF and RC Celta de Vigo at the top of the table despite having to hold on once Joseba Etxeberria pulled a goal back for the visitors 15 minutes from time.