MADRID: Real Madrid’s record 40-match unbeaten run in all competitions was finally brought to an end by a 2-1 defeat away to Sevilla in the Spanish league.
Striker Stevan Jovetic struck in stoppage time as Real’s 40-match unbeaten streak came to a halt. Cristiano Ronaldo’s 67th-minute penalty was cancelled out by an own goal by Sergio Ramos, once of Sevilla.
Ronaldo’s strike made him the joint-top penalty scorer in La Liga history. It was his 56th league penalty for the club, pulling him level with former Real great Hugo Sanchez. They are 10 penalties ahead of former Barcelona defender Ronaldo Koeman who is now third on the list with 46.
Barca’s Lionel Messi is the only other active player in the top 10 penalty takers in La Liga on 42 strikes.
Zinedine Zidane’s Real have a game in-hand over second-placed Sevilla and third-placed Barcelona, who are two points adrift.
Valencia won in the league for the first time since October, beating Espanyol 2-1.
Martin Montoya and Santi Mina were on target for Valencia, who are one place above the relegation zone. David Lopez replied for Espanyol.
Eibar’s 3-2 win at Sporting Gijon meant the gap between the drop and Valencia is now four points.
The visitors scored three times in the opening 23 minutes, but endured an anxious final 32 minutes as Sporting sought an equaliser which never came.
Granada and Osasuna, the league’s bottom two clubs, drew 1-1, while eighth-placed Celta Vigo beat Alaves 1-0.
Barcelona had moved up to second as they thumped Las Palmas 5-0 at the Nou Camp on Satutrday to remind Real Madrid they remain very much in the title race.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring as the champions produced a dominant performance that could have seen them out of sight by half-time, were it not for rare display of poor finishing.
Lionel Messi eventually found the back of the net after the restart before Suarez notched his second, with Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal also scoring to wrap up a comfortable victory for the Catalan club.
Victory took them above Sevilla and to within two points of Real, but the capital club have two games in hand on their bitter rivals. The first of those, on Sunday, is away to Sevilla.
An early goal from Argentina international Nico Gaitan after just eight minutes proved enough to give Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win over Real Betis at Vicente Calderon.
Diego Simeone’s side moved two points behind Sevilla as a result.
Saturday’s late match saw Deportivo La Coruna held to a goalless draw by Villarreal at Estadio Riazor.
At the other end of the table, Leganes battled to a goalless draw at home against Athletic Bilbao to edge further away from the relegation scrap.