Real Madrid trail Barcelona by eight points in the Primera Division after losing 1-0 away to a spiritied Sevilla in Saturday night’s competitive clash.
Real were stunned in the opening two minutes, with Iker Casillas first spilling a shot and then Sevilla taking the lead from the resultant corner, as unmarked Piotr Trochowski’s half-volley expertly converted the cross.
Los Blancos, playing in a competitive match for the first time in all green, looked to respond, but it was the hosts who threatened the most on the counter-attack and through set-plays in a frantic first half.
Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria were both involved in clashes with opponents in a physical opening 45.
The second period began in similar fashion, with both teams exchanging early golden opportunities to add to the scoring, only for Higuain and Alvaro Negredo to both pull shots in either area wide. Sergio Ramos also notably missed with a headed opportunity from a corner.
Jose Mourinho made three attacking changes in the second half, but the team struggled to find a way through midfield, with Sevilla always looking the more dangerous on the break to the final whistle.
With Barcelona winning earlier in the evening away to Getafe, this defeat leaves the defending champions eight points off the pace of their rivals, after just four rounds of action.