A depleted Real Madrid were deservedly beaten 2-1 at home to Alaves on Saturday evening, suffering their third league defeat of the season already - as many as they recorded in the entirety of the previous campaign.
The plucky visitors started sharply, winning a penalty inside the opening five minutes after the ball struck Nacho Fernandez's outstretched arm from close range. Former Arsenal striker Lucas Perez coolly converted to give Alaves an early lead.
Eden Hazard limped off with yet another injury in the 28th minute to join Madrid's captain Sergio Ramos and star striker Karim Benzema on the sidelines.
Any rousing words of encouragement Zinedine Zidane had dished out at half-time were swiftly deflated less than three minutes after the interval. Madrid's goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, one of the few consistent performers amid a patchy start to the campaign, mindlessly aimed a pass straight to Alaves striker Joselu, who rolled the ball into an empty net to give Alaves a two-goal cushion.
La Liga's reigning champions mounted some pressure in the closing stages but looked increasingly fragile on the break, particularly through the pacy Perez. Casemiro stabbed in a rebound with four minutes left to play and substitute Isco clipped the crossbar with the final kick of the game, but Madrid deservedly left the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano empty handed.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - 2/10 - After conceding the eighth consecutive penalty he's faced, Courtois was woefully at fault for Alaves' second goal on an admittedly rare night to forget for the Belgian.
Lucas Vazquez (RB) - 6/10 - One of the few who escaped this humiliating defeat with the majority of his reputation still intact.
Raphael Varane (CB) - 5/10 - Yet to fully recover his form since that calamitous night in Manchester last season, Varane wasn't nearly as bad against Alaves, but even his once untouchable turn of speed was called into question on a testing night.
Nacho Fernandez (CB) - 4/10 - Stepping in for Ramos, Nacho couldn't do much about the penalty but was too easily bypassed throughout the match.
Marcelo (LB) - 4/10 - Another game Marcelo starts ahead of Ferland Mendy, another defeat for Madrid. Failed to make a positive impact at either end of the pitch as his time in a Real Madrid shirt looks increasingly limited.
Casemiro (DM) - 5/10 - Grew into the game but was uncharacteristically absent too often as Alaves charged through the centre of the pitch with worrying regularity.
Toni Kroos (CM) - 6/10 - Tasked with dropping deep to help in the build up and press high out of possession, Kroos' ageing limbs served him admirably well and he perhaps should have scored.
Luka Modric (CM) - 4/10 - In stark contrast to his impressive display in midweek against Inter, Modric looked like each of his 35 years had begun to catch up to him.
Marco Asensio (RW) - 3/10 - Utterly non-existent in the forgettable hour he spent on the pitch.
Mariano Diaz (ST) - 5/10 - Gamely contested everything which came his way but didn't stretch Fernando Pacheco with his four attempts.
Eden Hazard (LW) - 4/10 - Injured, again. Just as he had strung together three consecutive starts, Hazard's spluttering Real Madrid career has stalled once more.
Rodrygo (RW) - 5/10
Vinicius Junior (LW) - 4/10
Isco (CM) - 7/10
Martin Odegaard (CM) - 6/10
Ferland Mendy (LB) - 5/10