Real Madrid missed the opportunity to return to the top of the table in LaLiga as they fell to a late 2-1 defeat at Real Betis on Sunday.
Zinedine Zidane’s side had climbed to the summit with their Clasico defeat of Barcelona last week, but they slipped back below their bitter rivals after Quique Setien’s men triumphed on Saturday and could not reclaim first place following a below-par display in Seville.
Indeed, Madrid would have been fortunate to emerge with even a point, as Betis enjoyed the better of the contest and led through Sidnei, only for the defender to swiftly concede a penalty at the other end that Karim Benzema scored.
Former Barca winger Cristian Tello netted with eight minutes remaining, though, and Los Blancos’ have now won just once – against the Blaugrana – in their past five matches in all competitions, with Betis picking up their first win in seven top-flight games.
Madrid controlled a low-key opening but only Vinicius Junior’s low shot wide threatened Joel Robles’ goal, while Marc Bartra should then have headed Betis in front when a set-piece pinballed his way and the defender missed the target from point-blank range.
The hosts built up a head of steam as Thibaut Courtois produced a strong stop from Nabil Fekir’s first-time strike, and Madrid were behind five minutes before half-time.
Fekir appealed for a spot-kick as he appeared to be felled by Casemiro just inside the area, but Sidnei marched onto the loose ball and sent a thunderous drive into the top-right corner.
The visitors were level heading into the break, though, as Sidnei hacked at Marcelo in the middle of the Betis box, prompting a penalty that Benzema coolly tucked away.
Joaquin had a golden chance to restore Betis’ lead 10 minutes after the restart, but the veteran looked to square to Sergio Canales rather than finish into an empty net after rounding Courtois on the counter, allowing the recovering Luka Modric to clear.
A rare Madrid foray saw Robles parry clear Modric’s effort and then watch Ferland Mendy’s sublime follow-up bounce away off the crossbar, yet the latest slack piece of play from Zidane’s side led to the winner.
Andres Guardado pounced on Benzema’s wayward pass and fed substitute Tello to send Courtois the wrong way, with Betis subsequently holding firm amid considerable late pressure.