Granada saved Juan Antonio Anquela's job with a shock 2-1 win away to Andalusian rivals Real Betis.
Betis lapped up the plaudits after Monday's 4-2 victory at Getafe and had the chance to leapfrog Real Madrid with a win.
However Pepe Mel had warned the Verdiblancos were 'specialists at screwing things up' when seen as favourites, and so it proved as Granada took the lead after less than 10 minutes play in this derby at the Benito Villamarin.
Udinese-owned Romanian Gabriel Torje fired in his third of the season when Adrian Castillo failed to collect a cross.
The visitors had a great chance to double their lead early in the second half but Dani Benitez skewed his half volley wide. Anquela's men were playing with real hunger and panache for a side placed 19th in La Liga and threatened again when Torje's vicious low cross just eluded Youssef El-Arabi's outstretched toe.
Betis then came agonisingly close twice in the space of a few seconds, Damien Perquis' header punched away by Tono and the rebound slammed against the post.
The hosts did get their leveller with 62 minutes played, Ruben Castro bouncing a volley off the ground and into the bottom left corner from Alex Martinez's cross.
But just when Granada appeared to be on the rack they retook the lead! Midfielder Mikel Rico showed real composure to collect a loose ball in the box and smash a finish past the onrushing Castillo.
The irrepressible El-Arabi almost made the victory more comfortable, skimming the post with a low drive.