Antonio Sanabria struck a 94th-minute winner as Real Betis stunned defending champions Real Madrid in their La Liga tie at the Santiago Bernabeu to leave Los Blancos’ title hopes in tatters.
After Barcelona smashed Eibar 6-1 on Tuesday to open up a seven-point lead over Real, Zinedine Zidane’s men were under pressure to clinch three points.
And despite welcoming Cristiano Ronaldo back from a five-game suspension, Zidane’s men were unable to find a way past an inspired Antoino Adan in the Betis goal.
Betis, managed by Quicque Setin, looked dangerous from the off and had a shot cleared off the goal-line by Real right-back Dani Carvajal early on after a fast break to give the hosts a timely warning.
Los Blancos responded by overwhelming the visitors with a sustained barrage of pressure with Luka Modric, Isco and Ronaldo all coming close to opening the scoring, but with Adan standing firm in the away goal, it turned out to be a frustrating evening.
In fact, had it not been for Keylor Navas, Real could have gone into the interval trailing, for the Costa Rican custodian made a stunning save from Fabian Ruiz to prevent the visitors from taking a shock lead.
Having dropped points against Levante and Valencia already, coincidentally both at home, Real could not afford to slip further in the title-race and Zidane threw on Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Borja Mayoral in a bid to find the winner.
Gareth Bale, under pressure to keep his starting spot from Asensio, attempted a deft flick from Carvajal’s cross but Adan was alert to the danger and made a smart stop to deny the Welshman.
And as the hosts continued to pour men forward, there was always a chance that Betis would expose them on the break and in the fourth minute of injury-time, did just that.
Right-back Antonio Barragan floated in an inviting cross at the far-post for Sanabria to head home a late winner and condemn Zidane’s men to their first league loss of what may turn out to be a very long season.
Los Verdiblancos rise to sixth in the La Liga table with nine points from five games, a point ahead of seventh-placed Madrid.