Ten-man Real Madrid suffered their seventh La Liga defeat of the season as they fell 2-1 at home to Girona, with Sergio Ramos breaking the Spanish record for red cards with his late dismissal.
Casemiro put the hosts ahead after 25 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu, but goals from Cristhian Stuani and Portu saw their Catalan guests claw back to take three points and leave Real nine points off leaders Barcelona.
Valencia went a seventh match unbeaten following their stalemate against Espanyol at the Mestalla, though Los Che have now drawn their last four domestic matches in a row.
Villarreal's recent revival continued with a fourth straight game unbeaten when they defeated Sevilla 3-0 at La Ceramica, only their second league win at home this season. Alaves snatched a point in Seville after drawing 1-1 at Real Betis.
Real Madrid 1-2 Girona
Valencia 0-0 Espanyol
Villarreal 3-0 Sevilla
Real Betis 1-1 Alaves
La Liga Standings (Points, Goal Difference)
Girona picked a fine time to end their 13-match win drought with a first victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, turning the script on its head as a disastrous 10 minutes put a major dent in Real's slim title hopes.
Ramos is so frequently the hero for Los Blancos, but turned villain on Sunday. The captain was guilty of a handball in the area that allowed Stuani to equalise from the spot and completed his day with a sending off:
Squawka paid tribute to the Spain stalwart after he added an unwanted La Liga record to his list of accolades:
Three points lifted Girona two places up to 15th, while Real remain third and nine points away from Barca, while Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday means they're now two points clear in second.
Portu pounced in the 75th minute to tuck in Girona's second and seemingly ruin any hope Real had of overcoming the gap between them and the top. Nevertheless, coach Santiago Solari said after the result that he'll refuse to give up on La Liga's crown:
Valencia's home meeting with Espanyol didn't comprise of quite the same drama and ended scoreless, the hosts' second such result in as many matches at the Mestalla.
In fact, coach Marcelino's side have formed a habit of bore draws lately, per OptaJose:
A point each was enough to temporarily lift both sides one place in La Liga, with Valencia climbing up to eighth and Espanyol moving closer to mid-table at 12th.
Valencia dropped back to ninth after Betis moved above them with a share of the spoils at home to Alaves. Giovani Lo Celso scored the breakthrough for the hosts after just 15 minutes, but Guillermo Maripan levelled before the half-hour mark to keep Alaves level on points with Getafe in fourth.
Sevilla could have moved within five points of Real at Villarreal but remain fourth after losing 3-0 at Villarreal, who won back-to-back matches for the first time this season after beating Sporting CP on Thursday.
Centre-back Alvaro Gonzalez headed in the opener from a Santi Cazorla corner as the Yellow Submarine's veteran architect continued to lead their recovery of late, per OptaJose:
Karl Toko Ekambi's strike to double Villarreal's lead was the pick of the bunch, via La Liga:
Left-sided star Alfonso Pedraza rounded off a comfortable win a goal in the 89th minute to put the result beyond doubt, with Villarreal now only two points from safety. Sevilla are only one point above Getafe and are at risk of falling out of La Liga's top four.