Real Madrid missed a good chance to go joint top of the Spanish Liga on Sunday, conceding a late 1-1 draw in Almeria, dpa reported.
With eight minutes left in Almeria, Real were holding onto a 1-0 lead. The hosts were pressing forward, but lacked bite in attack.
All that changed, though, in the 82nd minute. Albert Crusat took advantage of a Sergio Ramos mistake to progress down the left - and his centre was volleyed home by little Argentine Pablo Piatti.
It was no less than Almeria deserved for all their efforts - and no less than Real deserved for their complacency.
The whites had gone ahead in the 39th minute when veteran captain Raul Gonzalez headed in a Gonzalo Higuain centre from the left.
Real seemed convinced that Almeria's powder-puff attack could do them no harm and started to think about Wednesday's Champions League clash against Juventus.
After making it 1-1, Piatti wasted a good chance to give Almeria the lead. At the other end, Gabriel Heinze headed a clear chance wide.
"Our mistake was not to kill the game off," said Sergio Ramos.
"But all credit to them. ... They kept on coming at us, and maybe they did deserve a draw."
Real now have 20 points and are in third place. They are one point behind Villarreal, who won 4-1 Saturday in Bilbao, and two behind impressive leaders Barcelona, who cruised to a 4-1 win Saturday in rainy Malaga.
Valencia are level with Real on 20, after Saturday's 4-2 meltdown at home to Racing Santander, for whom Mohamed Tchite was the hat- trick hero.
In fifth place, on 17, are Sevilla, who crashed 3-2 in Valladolid on Sunday after having raced into a 2-0 lead, with early goals from Renato and Jesus Navas.
But things started to go wrong for Sevilla in the 35th when Luis Fabiano - their only fit striker - foolishly picked up a second yellow card for diving in the area.
Jonathan Sesma pulled back a goal for Valladolid just before the break. Then Uruguayan supersub Fabian Canobbio took centre stage by turning the tables on Sevilla with two handsome left-foot goals.
"The sending-off of Luis was crucial," moaned Jimenez. "But even so, we should have had more answers out on the field this evening."
Sevilla are four points ahead of sixth-placed Atletico Madrid, who beat Mallorca 2-0 on Saturday with two goals from fit-again Sergio Aguero.
Getafe remain seventh after battling out a 1-1 draw Sunday in Huelva. They are level on 13 points with Malaga.
On 12 points are Espanyol - who beat Osasuna 1-0 on a goal from former Spain striker Raul Tamudo - along with Almeria and revitalized Sporting Gijon.
Newly promoted Gijon made a dreadful start to the season, but Sunday's 3-1 defeat of Numancia - with two more goals from Mate Bilic - lifts them up to joint ninth place.
Mallorca are 12th, and Valladolid are now 13th after their defiant defeat of Sevilla.
Level on nine points are Santander and Deportivo Coruna, who are at Betis in Sunday's late game.
Betis currently have eight points, Numancia and Huelva seven.
Athletic Bilbao are second from bottom with just five points, one point more than bottom side Osasuna, who have lost all three games under former Spain manager Jose Antonio Camacho.