Barcelona and Atletico Madrid both dropped points for the first time this season, as Real Madrid recorded a 2-0 victory over Malaga to close the gap at the top of La Liga.
A goalless draw at Osasuna brought an end to Barcelona’s perfect start to the season after previously winning their first eight games, while Atletico, who also boasted the same record, suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Espanyol in the late kick-off on matchday nine.
Lionel Messi started on the bench for the Catalan Giants, who with Tuesday’s trip to AC Milan in mind, chose to rest the likes of Dani Alves, Gerard Pique and Alexis Sanchez.
And despite controlling much of the game, Gerardo Martino’s side were unable to find a breakthrough, with Cesc Fabregas spurning their best opportunity.
Their failure to find the net meant Osasuna became the first La Liga side to earn a clean sheet against Barcelona for nearly two years.
Meanwhile an own goal from on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saw Atletico Madrid suffer their first defeat of the campaign after Espanyol battled to a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
Courtois saw the ball bounce off his arm and into the net after failing to cut out a cross from Juan Fuentes on 54 minutes for the only goal of the game.
Both slips up will have been welcome news to Real Madrid, who closed the gap at the top to three points after their routine win over Malaga.
A fortunate goal from Angel Di Maria gave the home side the lead moments after the break, before a late penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo secured the points.
Substitute Gareth Bale won the spot kick after his introduction with 76 minutes gone, as he was brought down by Weligton.
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