Espanyol’s 2-1 win over Real Madrid means Los Blancos now only lead Atletico Madrid at the top of LaLiga on goal difference.
Real Madrid suffered a dismal end to a humiliating week as they were stunned 2-1 by Espanyol, missing out on the chance to restore a three-point lead at the top of LaLiga.
Madrid started well enough and on three minutes a back-heel from Vinicius released Benzema whose shot was saved.
But Espanyol were giving as good as they were getting and when Adrian Embarba shot Thibaut Courtois saved at full stretch. Eduardo Camavinga had been picked to start and he was lively. He was also trod on by Adrian Embarba who was booked.
Espanyol took the lead on 17 minutes when Embarba raced past David Alaba down the Madrid left, got to the byline and crossed to the near post where Raul de Tomas sprinted ahead of Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez to turn the ball first time past Courtois. It was the first time the former Real Madrid B-team striker had scored against his former club.
On the hour Madrid were 2-0 down and it was former Barcelona full-back Aleix Vidal who scored the goal sprinting clear of Luka Modric, nutmegging Nacho who had committed himself with generous naivety before beating Courtois at his near post.
Benzema thought he’d pulled one back but his brilliant effort was ruled out because he had played the ball off of the offside Luka Jovic just before he danced through the Espanyol defence to score.
He would not be denied and on 70 minutes he got another pass from substitute Jovic and carried it along the edge of the area until he found the space to curl a shot past Diego Lopez to make it 2-1.