Gerard Moreno netted a 94th minute winner at the RCDE Stadium as Espanyol beat Real Madrid 1-0 Tuesday.
Real boss Zinedine Zidane opted to rest star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo, and the supporting cast failed to show up as the champions lost further ground in what has been a dismal defence of their title.
Los Blancos will fall 17 points behind leaders Barcelona if the Catalans take three points against Las Palmas on Thursday.
Fit again Gareth Bale almost gave the visitors an early lead, reacting first to Achraf Hakimi’s deflected cross but poking his near-post header too close to Diego Lopez.
Espanyol then took control of the game and twice could have been in front through striker Gerard, who first failed to capitalise on a poor clearance by Raphael Varane before seeing a goal wrongly disallowed for offside.
The hosts continued to pile the pressure at the restart with Keylor Navas made a spectator as Sergi Darder’s header plopped onto the top of the crossbar.
At the other end, Bale ballooned a shot over from the edge of the area before fluffing his lines on two half chances.
Zidane threw on Karim Benzema with 20 minutes left, but it was Espanyol who came close to scoring as Gerard’s header was saved from six yards.
The Spain striker finally got the goal he deserved three minutes into stoppage time, catching Sergio Garcia’s cross with a brilliant shot that beat Navas and into the corner for his side’s first win over Real in 22 games.