Real Madrid suffered a dismal end to a humiliating week as they were stunned 2-1 by Espanyol, missing out on the chance to restore a three-point lead at the top of LaLiga.
Madrid were the victims of one of the greatest shocks in Champions League history in midweek as they were incredibly beaten 2-1 by Moldovan debutants Sheriff at the Santiago Bernabeu.
And they now only lead LaLiga on goal difference after a limp performance at RCDE Stadium, where Espanyol took a 2-0 lead through goals from Raul de Tomas and Aleix Vidal.
Karim Benzema was in inspired form, and he gave Madrid hope in the 71st minute, yet the visitors were again left to reflect on a humbling despite their star forward's best efforts.
Save for a couple of tame shots from Benzema, Madrid struggled to create chances early on despite dominating possession, and they were punished against the run of play as De Tomas stole in at the near post to turn home Adrian Embarba's low right-wing cross.
Espanyol continued in the ascendancy without adding to their lead in the first half and were fortunate not to be pegged back four minutes into the second as Eder Militao's header drifted wide.
But Madrid's attacking threat remained largely conspicuous by its absence and Espanyol doubled their advantage when former Barcelona man Vidal was allowed to surge into open space from midfield, skip past Nacho and side-foot beyond Thibaut Courtois.
The hosts should have made it 3-0 as Madrid were caught cold on the counter, only for Sergi Darder to make a horrible mess of his finish with only Courtois to beat.
Benzema was then rightly denied by the offside flag but, after Darder stung Courtois' palms at the other end, the France international gave Madrid a chance with a superb individual effort, evading several challenges on the edge of the box before bending a pinpoint strike inside the right-hand post.
And Benzema looked to have teed Eden Hazard up for a spectacular leveller, but the offside flag was again correctly raised as Espanyol held on to deal Madrid an early blow in the title race.
Real Madrid have lost a LaLiga away game for the first time since November 2020 against Valencia (4-1), ending with their best unbeaten away run in the competition (18 games, achieved on three occasions: 1997, 2016 and 2021).
Real Madrid have lost consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since January 2021, when they lost 1-2 against Athletic in the Supercopa and 1-2 against Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.
Espanyol have won two of their last four home games against Real Madrid in LaLiga (L2), winning one more than in their previous 11 home games against Los Blancos (W1 D1 L9).
Following their wins over Alavés (1-0) and Real Madrid (2-1), Espanyol have recorded back-to-back home wins in LaLiga for the first time since May 2019 under Rubi.
Raúl de Tomás is the first Espanyol player to score against both Real Madrid and Atlético in the same LaLiga season since Raúl Tamudo in 2007/08.
Karim Benzema has been involved in 16 goals in eight LaLiga games this season (nine goals and seven assists), the best start in goal involvement after the same number of games in the competition in the 21st century after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2014/15 (17 - 16 and one).
Espanyol's Aleix Vidal has scored his second goal against Real Madrid in LaLiga, following the one for Barcelona in December 2017. He is the only player to have scored against Los Blancos for both sides in the competition in the 21st century.
Espanyol coach Vicente Moreno is one of only two coaches to have beaten Real Madrid twice in LaLiga in the last three seasons, after Levante’s Paco López.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has lost his first game against Espanyol in LaLiga after four wins in their previous meetings in the competition.
Toni Kroos has made his 300th start for Real Madrid in all competitions (322 appearances in total), a figure surpassed only by Karim Benzema (306 in 334) since the German's first campaign with Los Blancos (2014/15).