Pepe headed home a late equaliser for Real Madrid to grab a point from Osasuna as the home side held the title-chasers to 2-2 at the Estado Reyno de Navarra.
Real were in disarray in the first half as they went two goals and a man down after Oriol Riera bagged two free headers before captain Sergio Ramos got sent off for two bookable offences - the 18th dismissal of his career.
Isco pulled one back just before half-time which gave Los Blancos hope but it was Osasuna who played much the better football in the second half.
Madrid toiled to find a way through but when Francisco Silva was sent off for the home side in the 79th minute, the title-chasers struck almost immediately. From the free-kick Pepe rose highest to nod home in the 80th minute to rescue a point for Real Madrid.
Los Blancos missed the chance to go equal on points with city rivals Atletico Madrid and table-topping Barcelona with those two sides still to play this weekend.
Osasuna will be gutted to have dropped a two goal lead but will walk away happy with a point against this star-studded Real Madrid side which take them up one place into 16th.
16’ RIERA ROCKET – The Osasuna hero stole in at the far post following an outside-of-the-boot cross from Marc Bertran at right-back. His head was powerful and gave Diego Lopez no chance to give the hosts the lead.
39’ HEADING PRACTICE – Again Riera with the goal as Diego Lopez does well to save the first header from the corner but the ball popped up nicely on to the head of Riera who was not going to miss a free header from five-yards out.
44’ RAMOS MADNESS – Sergio Ramos inexplicably got himself sent off with a second yellow after appearing elbow Riera as he attempted to close down the ball in the middle of the park. No brainer for the referee.
45+1 ISCO REVIVAL – The diminutive Spaniard fired home from the edge of the box to give Real Madrid a lifeline going in to the half-time break after Osasuna allowed too much space in front of their defence for the first time in the half.
79’ SILLY SILVA – Having an absolute stormer of a match and being on a booking is a recipe for disaster. And it was for Silva who went steaming in to Ronaldo having mis-controlled the ball and tripped him as he went to win it back.
80’ PERKY PEPE – And Pepe equalised just one minute later with a towering header from the resulting free-kick. Carjaval delivered bang on the penalty spot where Pepe was able to get a run on his man and head home for a late equaliser.
Real Madrid bossed possession in this game with 63% possession but only managed to convert that into 11 shots, only four of which were on target.
Osasuna on the other hand were able to have ten shots, with seven on target, having only 37% of the possession.
Los Blancos committed 13 fouls during the game compared to just eight from Osasuna. Sergio Ramos picked up his 13th red card in La Liga.
Why did Ramos elbow Riera and cost his team a chance to gain all three points? He may be one of the best centre backs in the world but his tendancy to get sent off is truly baffling. He inexplicably threw his arm at Riera as he tried to close down Marcelo on the half-way line. Thankfully the referee saw it because it looked cynical. Lucky for Ramos his teammates didn’t throw in the towel with their skipper off the pitch and managed to pull the game back to 2-2.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Oriol Riera, Osasuna: Tireless running and two goals to boot. He was a handful for Pepe and Ramos all afternoon getting both booked and the latter sent off. His two headers were accurate and powerful and gave his team the confidence to have a go at a very strong Real Madrid team.
Osasuna: Andrés 7; Bertrán 7, Arribas 7, Loties 7, Damiá 7; Cejudo 6, Silva 5; Lolo 6, Armenteros 6, Roberto Torres 6; Oriol Riera 9. Subs: Oier 5, Onwu 5, Loé 5.
Real Madrid: Diego López 7; Carvajal 6, Pepe 8, Ramos 4, Marcelo 6; Xabi Alonso 7, Modric 6, Isco 8; Bale 5, Cristiano 7, Benzema 5. Subs: Jesé 6, Di María 6, Illarramendi 5.