A superb strike from Jose Luis Morales condemned Real Madrid to a 1-0 defeat away to Levante on Saturday which saw them unseated at the top of the La Liga standings by Barcelona.
Real's problems deepened with a suspected ankle injury to Eden Hazard, who limped off the pitch four days before their Champions League showdown with Manchester City and a week before their showdown with Barca in the 'Clasico'.
Morales won the game with an unstoppable strike in the 79th minute, flummoxing Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois by blasting a first-time shot inside the near post from a tight angle.
Real's first defeat in the league since October saw them fall to second place on 53 points after 25 games, while Levante climbed up to 10th.
Champions Barcelona replaced Real at the top of the table on 55 after hammering Eibar 5-0 earlier on.
"A week ago we were three points clear and now we're two points behind, that shows you cannot afford to switch off," said Real defender Dani Carvajal.
"We wasted a lot of chances, we began well but got worse as the game went on and we have lost three points."