Atletico Madrid’s title charge was dealt another serious blow as they were beaten 1-0 by Sevilla in the Sanchez Pizjuan.
They are now just three points clear of second placed Real Madrid and if Barcelona beat Valladolid on Monday night their lead will be cut to just one point by the Catalans.
Midfielder Koke was furious post match with refereeing decisions that missed a handball in the build-up to Marcos Acuña’s winning goal and a handball from Diego Carlos who was already on a yellow card.
But beyond the perceived injustices this was another night when Diego Simeone’s side looked nothing like Champions elect.
The first half started badly for Atletico with Saul stepping on Rakitic in the area and conceding a penalty.
The visitors were let off the hook when Lucas Ocampos’ poor penalty was saved by Oblak.
They were poor in the first half and could have gone behind early on had keeper Jan Oblak not saved from the penalty spot.
And although they improved after the break it was a tired display lacking inspiration and conviction.
Next week they play Betis away and must do so without Luis Suarez and Marcos Llorente who were both booked in the defeat and will miss the game through suspension.
They were below-strength for this one without Joao Felix with a bruised ankle and the suspended Yannick Carrasco. They also had Stefan Savic out with stomach problems.
The problems meant Simeone could only name a bench of six players. He needed to change things in the second period but there were only defensive midfielders to call upon.
Sevilla were in better shape and Julen Lopetegui had the luxury of leaving out top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri with Luuk de Jong starting the game in his place.
The home coach had never beaten Simeone but this was to be his night.