Manu Garcia’s 95th minute winner saw the hosts come away with a 1-0 victory over the reigning European champions, one that actually brings them level to Real Madrid on 14 points in the Liga table.
Not even the return of Gareth Bale to the line-up after missing against CSKA Moscow midweek and coming off early against Atletico was enough to break the recent string of struggles.
The reigning European Champions began the season well enough, with victories in their first three league contests this season, scoring 10 goals in the process.
But the success in front of goal that was present in four of the club’s first five games of the season has evaporated in recent weeks.
Real Madrid have not scored since that victory over Espanyol, having been kept off the board in four straight contests.
Over that span, Madrid have lost 3-0 to Sevilla and held city rivals Atletico to a scoreless draw, following those results with a pair of 1-0 losses on the road to CSKA Moscow and Alaves.
That is the longest goalless streak the club have endured since April 1985, when they could not find the net in five straight.
1985 - Real Madrid have failed to score in four consecutive games in all competitions for the first time since April 1985 (five), their worst run ever. Drought pic.twitter.com/Hrej7ojkM4— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 6, 2018
Not a single player on the Madrid team for the match was alive when the club went through that poor run, with the oldest, Luka Modric, born in September 1985.
The silver lining for Madrid is that three of those contests were on the road and the one home fixture was against Diego Simeone’s stingy Atletico side.
After the international break, Madrid will return home and look to avoid equaling the 1985 side by finally breaking through when they get to face Levante.