Sevilla ended Real Madrid’s 40 game unbeaten run and threw the race for the La Liga title wide open as they produced a dramatic comeback to beat the league leaders 2-1 in their Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Sunday night.
A tense first half saw both sides trade blows in a high-octane affair.
However, it was Madrid who took the lead in the 67th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot after Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico needlessly brought down Madrid fullback Dani Carvajal.
It looked as if Madrid were going to move seven points clear of Sevilla and five clear of Barcelona with a game in hand (despite Sevilla’s impressive efforts) until five minutes before time when Sergio Ramos took center stage.
The former Sevilla defender had been the cause of controversy during the week for his celebrations after scoring a penalty against his former club in the King’s Cup, and he became the protagonist again when he headed into his own net to give Sevilla the equalizer.
Stefan Jovetic then celebrated his league debut with the winning goal in the 91st minute, a shot from outside of the area to send the crowd at Pizjuan wild and open up the title race.
Things look a lot clearer at the bottom of the table after the bottom two sides, Osasuna and Granada made it a 1-1 draw in Granada’s Los Carmenes Stadium.
Oriol Riera put Osasuna ahead after 12 minutes but Granada took a point, and finished with just 9 players after Uche Agbo and Ponce were sent off in the second half.
Sporting Gijon are also looking doomed after a 3-2 defeat at home to Eibar. Adrian put Eibar ahead in the third minute from the penalty spot, and although Carmona soon levelled, further goals from Pedro Leon and Lillo put Eibar 3-1 up. Despite Nacho Cases netting for the home side in the second half, Eibar were able to hold on for a win.
Valencia were able to move away from relegation danger with a vital win 2-1 at home to Espanyol on Sunday with a first half goal from Martin Montoya and a second half finish from Santi Mina giving the Primera Liga strugglers just their second home win of the season.
David Lopez scored from close range in the 85th minute to provoke a few nerves among home fans, but Valencia hung on with few problems for a vital win.
Nemanja Radoja scored an 89th minute winner as Celta Vigo broke Alaves’ hearts after the visitors had defended firmly with just 10 men following Zou Feddal’ s red card in the first minute of the second half in the Balaidos stadium.
The late goal was the first Alaves have conceded in over 450 minutes of football away from home in all competitions to highlight the mettle of the side promoted to the top flight this season.
Saturday saw FC Barcelona produce one of their best performances of the season to brush past Las Palmas 5-0.
Leo Messi produced a stellar display to help set Luis Suarez up for two goals, while scoring himself shortly after halftime. Arda Turan helped Aliex Vidal come through with his first goal for the club, ending the rout against Las Palmas, whose coach Quique Setien admitted he was helpless to do anything.
Nico Gaiten scored the only goal of the match as Atletico Madrid won a dour encounter at home to a brave Betis side that worked hard, but was unable to break down the home defense.
Villarreal can thank goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo and the woodwork for their 0-0 draw away to Deportivo la Coruna, who are climbing away from the relegation zone one point at a time.
Finally, Leganes striker Darwin Machis had a day to forget after he missed a hatful of chances as his side drew 0-0 at home to Athletic Club Bilbao, who looked tired after their efforts in the King’s Cup, but who could have taken all three points after referee Jaime Latre wrongly ruled out an early goal by Raul Garcia.