Real Madrid missed a chance to draw level on points with the La Liga leaders, drawing 2-2 at Osasuna on Saturday in a league match at El Sadar.
The result, however, could have been worse for Real Madrid, who trailed 2-0 in the first half and had defender Sergio Ramos sent off before half-time. After the fight-back, Madrid remained in third place on 38 points, two behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Barcelona host Villarreal later Saturday. Atletico Madrid host Valencia on Sunday.
FT Osasuna 2-2 Madrid. Decent game & prob fair result in end. Madrid final charge never really happened, Ancelotti subs quite strange.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) December 14, 2013
Osasuna 2-2 Real Madrid FT: There have now been 7 red cards in the last 7 league matches between these two sides at Osasuna— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 14, 2013
Osasuna 2-2 Real Madrid FT: Shots (OT) 11(7)-17(4), Possession 37%-63%, Pass Accuracy 73%-87% http://t.co/PfCDybvmxS— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) December 14, 2013
Oriol Riera scored both of Osasuna's goals, converting headers in the 16th and 39th minutes. Isco pulled one back for Real Madrid in the 45th minute, moments after Ramos' sending-off. Pepe headed in the equalizer 10 minutes from time.
“We lost control after they scored the first goal. The first 20 minutes we played well with quality and pace. It’s amazing that we were down 2-0 and with 10 men," Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said, per Inside Spanish Football. "It’s difficult to explain. We were lacking a lot. We were well positioned. We had less balance but we had a lot of intensity. The team showed a lot of character and attitude not to lose.”
Ancelotti made three changes to the side that won at Copenhagen midweek in the UEFA Champions League. Goalkeeper Diego Lopez returned in place of Iker Casillas, while Daniel Carvajal and Sergio Ramos replaced Alvaro Arbeloa and Nacho, respectively.
Madrid, the league's highest-scoring team, had won five straight league matches heading into Saturday, outscoring their opponents 24-6 during that time. That run seemed likely to continue against Osasuna, the league's lowest-scoring team with 11 goals before Saturday.
Instead, Los Blancos misfired early before going behind by two goals.
Madrid had a chance to go ahead in the 10th minute, but Ronaldo missed Karim Benzema and picked out Isco along the edge of the box, where Isco laid off for Ronaldo. With the goal at his mercy, Ronaldo dragged his shot wide of the near post.
The visitors were made to pay soon after.
In the 14th minute, Osasuna's Roberto Torres slipped himself free behind Madrid's defense following a set piece, though he was ruled offside before chipping his shot over the bar. But two minutes later, Marc Bertran crossed from the right for Riera, who powered in his header at the far post for a 1-0 Osasuna lead.
Madrid had a half-chance in the 23rd minute as Benzema lofted a ball over the top for Ronaldo, but Ronaldo's looping attempt landed on top of Osasuna's goal.
Osasuna doubled their lead in the 39th minute, converting from a corner. Lopez saved Damia's initial header, but Riera was on hand to head in the rebound.
The situation worsened for Madrid in the 44th minute, when Sergio Ramos was sent off for his second bookable offense. Within moments, though, Madrid pulled one back.
In the 45th minute, Ronaldo drew a crowd of defenders on the left before passing for Isco in the middle. Isco took a touch and picked out the bottom corner at the near post to make it 2-1 heading into the break.
Ancelotti changed his side early in the second half, replacing the quiet Gareth Bale with Angel Di Maria in the 55th minute. Two minutes later, Ronaldo missed another chance, dragging a shot wide of the far post from the left side of the box.
Osasuna had two chances to restore their two-goal advantage in the 70th minute. First, Lopez saved Torres' shot from the left side of the box. Then the Madrid keeper kept out Torres' rebound from a tight angle.
In the 77th minute, Ronaldo went to ground under pressure in the Osasuna box, but the referee waved play on.
Two minutes later, Osasuna were down to 10 men. Francisco Silva, who had already been booked, showed his studs in a tackle on Ronaldo, and he was duly shown his second yellow card.
Madrid took advantage immediately, equalizing from the ensuing free-kick in the 80th minute. Di Maria played the ball short to Isco on the right, and Isco curled a cross to the back post, where Pepe headed in powerfully to make it 2-2.
Cristiano Ronaldo: B-
Ronaldo missed a clear chance early, shooting wide of the near post while under no pressure. Had he converted, the match's tone would have been much different. In the second half, he dragged a shot wide of the far post with a chance to equalize.
Late in the first half, however, Ronaldo picked out Isco for Real Madrid's first goal. Isco's finish was superb, but Ronaldo did his part in two ways. First, he commanded the attention of multiple Osasuna defenders, who had to respect his immense skill. Then, he played the final pass.
Gareth Bale: C-
Bale registered one shot on goal in the first half, but other than that he had a quiet afternoon.
According to WhoScored.com, Bale completed only 11 passes in his 55 minutes on the pitch, and none of his six crosses reached their intended targets.