|Despite being in blistering form Ronaldo was unable to do anything to prevent defeat against Levante [GALLO/GETTY]|
Real Madrid suffered their first upset of the season after a shock 1-0 defeat to Levante on Sunday in the Spanish Primera Division.
The result was in stark contrast to their 4-2 victory over Getafe last weekend and 1-0 win at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.
It was a historic victory for the small club Levante and one that dispells the theory that La Liga had turned into a two horse race.
Levante’s annual budget is around $27.3 million, compared with Real’s of just under $680 million.
The tiny Valencia-based club stunned 10-man Real Madrid when Arouna Kone found the back of the net in the second-half with a crisp finish.
While Barcelona routed Osasuna 8-0 for their biggest home win under coach Pep Guardiola on Saturday, a lackluster Madrid were held scoreless for the third consecutive visit to Ciutat de Valencia stadium.
Madrid played a man down from the 40th after Sami Khedira received his second yellow card.
Sunday September 18
Atl Madrid 4-0 Santander
Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench at halftime to try and spark Madrid, but Kone converted Levante’s numerical advantage into the 68th-minute winner.
The loss left Madrid one point behind Barcelona and two points behind league leader Valencia.
Elsewhere, new signing Radamel Falcao lit up the Calderon with a splendid hat-trick to set Atletico Madrid on the way to a 4-0 win at home to Racing Santander in La Liga on Sunday.
The Colombian striker, top scorer in last season’s Europa League with 17 goals as he led Porto to the title, netted the opener in the 23rd minute at a sun-bathed stadium after good work by former Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes.
His second came from the penalty spot in the 36th after Brazilian Diego, another close-season addition to Gregorio Manzano’s squad, had been felled in the box.
Atletico’s third high-profile new signing, Turkey midfielder Arda Turan, then played Falcao through to complete his treble with a deft chip over goalkeeper Tono 10 minutes after the break.
Brought in to help fill the gap left by the departures of Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero, the Colombian was given a rousing ovation by the home fans when he was substituted midway through the second half.
Turan claimed his second assist with just over 10 minutes left when he crossed for substitute Adrian to glance a header past Tono for the home side’s fourth to round off their first win of the campaign.
Real Zaragoza forward Luis Garcia had an eventful match against his former club Espanyol in Sunday’s earlier kickoff, smashing in a stoppage-time winner for a 2-1 victory minutes after seeing his penalty saved by Cristian Alvarez.
Garcia, who joined Zaragoza in the close season, put his new club ahead in the 29th minute before Javi Lopez equalised with 20 minutes left.
In Sunday’s Madrid derby, promoted Rayo Vallecano claimed their first win of the campaign with a 1-0 success at Getafe.