And while a number of games were decided at the death in Madrid's favour in La Liga last season, it has not been the same story this time and Espanyol became the third team in the Primera Division to beat Real with a late goal, after Betis and Villarreal.
The loss means Real remain 14 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona, who have a game in hand. Atletico hosts Leganes on Wednesday and Barcelona visits Las Palmas on Thursday.
It was Real's first defeat by the Catalans in 11 years after the latest in a long line of insipid displays without Ronaldo that highlight how important the evergreen 33-year-old - who has scored 12 goals in his last seven appearances - is to the side. "We played well, created chances, but things didn't go our way in the end".
Real Madrid players celebrate with the FIFA Club World Cup trophy following their victory in the final football match against Gremio at Zayed Sports City Stadium in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on December 16, 2017.
Madrid had outscored opponents 20-7 in its five-game winning streak.
Shahbaz Sharif elected interim chief of PML-N
The court said a person who is disqualified under the Constitution is not eligible to keep any position in a political party. Sharif resigned in July after the country's top court ousted him from office for concealing financial assets.
Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Luka Modric also did not play as they try to recover from injuries for next week's game against PSG.
Gareth Bale as the striker: "Things haven't gone well for us".
The champions saw their five-game winning run in all competitions emphatically ended when Gerard Moreno slammed home a dramatic late victor for lowly Espanyol.
The LaLiga champions have not been at their best this season, and their domestic woes continued when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Espanyol on Tuesday night.
Espanyol had the chance to take the lead in the first half, but Keylor Navas denied Moreno. It is a defeat that hurts and a bad result - I'm sorry for the players.
Zidane admitted that his side did not do enough to win the game but went on to say that a draw would have been a fair result.