MADRID, March 15, 2008 (AFP) - An own goal by defender Pepe consigned Real Madrid to a 1-0 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna to extend the Spanish champion's wretched record at the Riazor Stadium.
Real turned up on the north west coast seeking to end a winless run there stretching back to the 1991/92 season.
But the Madrid giants will have to wait another season to halt the run after an insipid encounter burst into life in the 58th minute when Deportivo's Felipe beat off Real defender Miguel Torres on the left.
The Brazilian's goalbound shot then took a deflection off fellow Brazilian Pepe's outstretched leg with that unscripted intervention wrong-footing keeper Iker Casillas.
Deportivo were well worth their three points against a Real Madrid side sorely missing Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Robinho's introduction late on failed to inspire the visitors.
Real, who mustered only one shot on target throughout the entire 90 minutes, could have their lead at the top cut to five points should Barcelona beat Almeria on Sunday.
For struggling Deportivo this win was a boost in their fight to avoid the drop. The Champions League semi-finalists in 2004 are now three points above the relegation zone.
Saturday's game between Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao was cut short in the 72nd minute by the referee after Athletic's keeper Armando was struck by a bottle of water thrown from the stands.
He had to leave the pitch on a stretcher. Athletic were leading 2-1 at the time the encounter at the Manuel Ruiz ground was stopped.
"Armando suffered a blow to the right eye and has bruising and a cut in the same area. He has had stitches," read a statement on the club's official website.
Elsewhere Recreativo Huelva prevailed 4-2 over Real Murcia with Florent Sinama-Pongolle getting a double for Recreativo.
Saturday's late kick-off produced a 2-1 win for Sevilla, who have turned the corner after a poor start to the season to put themselves back in contention for Champions League football next term.
A Luis Fabiano first half double pushed the two time UEFA Cup winners up to fourth with Kings Cup semi-finalists Valencia, whose Raul Albiol scored in the 90th minute, treading water in 10th.
Sunday's action features Barcelona trip to Almeria, a club who have already beaten Real this season.
Third-placed Villarreal, who are now just four points behind Barca, host Real Zaragoza.
|6||J. de Guzmán||59'|
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