Faltering La Liga champions Real Madrid slid to a shock 2-1 home defeat by Alaves on Saturday as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a catastrophic error and record signing Eden Hazard suffered yet another injury. Lucas Perez gave Alaves the lead in the fifth minute from the penalty spot after a handball from Nacho, the fifth penalty that Madrid have conceded in the league in three matches. Hazard wasted a chance to equalise when he fired straight at Alaves keeper Fernando Pacheco and then had a penalty appeal waved away before hobbling off with a muscle injury in the 28th minute.

Former Madrid youth player Joselu made the most of a gift from Courtois to double Alaves’ lead early in the second half, unexpectedly receiving a stray pass from the Belgian outside the area and slotting into the empty net. Casemiro pulled back a goal for Real Madrid in the 86th minute from close range while Isco almost found an equaliser in the sixth minute of added time but his shot bounced off the crossbar and Madrid had to swallow a third defeat in 10 league games.

Zinedine Zidane’ s side are fourth in the standings on 17 points after 10 games, six below leaders Real Sociedad and second-placed Atletico Madrid. Alaves climbed up to ninth on 13.

“Alaves made a much better start than us and if you don`t score you pay for it as this is the toughest league in the world and every opponent has quality,” Real midfielder Casemiro said.

Madrid were lifted by a commanding 2-0 victory away to Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday but were still missing six players, including captain Sergio Ramos and striker Karim Benzema, their two top scorers last season. Zidane decided to rotate first-choice left back Ferland Mendy and give another chance to veteran Marcelo, who struggled in the 4-1 defeat by Valencia three weeks ago. But the move backfired yet again as Real suffered their 10th league defeat since Zidane returned to the club in March 2019.

Atletico win 6th straight game

Atletico Madrid were rewarded for their determination when they snatched a 1-0 win at Valencia thanks to a late own goal to go level on points with La Liga leaders Real Sociedad on Saturday. The visitors had carved out many chances with no reward until Yannick Carrasco cut into the box and his cross bounced off the flailing leg of Valencia defender Toni Lato and trickled into the net in the 79th minute. The own goal was fortuitous but certainly deserved after Diego Simeone’s side had dominated possession and fired 14 shots at goal, denied by Valencia`s in-form keeper Jaume Domenech and a goal-line clearance by defender Daniel Wass.

It gave second-placed Atletico a sixth consecutive La Liga victory, having beaten Barcelona 1-0 last week to secure their first league success over the Catalans in a decade. Atleti move on to 23 points after nine games, level with leaders Sociedad who have played 10 and are in action on Sunday at home to Villarreal.

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