Atletico Madrid slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Mallorca on Wednesday to continue its poor form, having won only one of its last seven games in all competitions.
Vedat Muriqi scored Mallorca’s winner in the 16th minute, his fifth goal in his last five games, after Antonio Sanchez fired a long-range shot that Jan Oblak palmed away to the right before Jaume Costa set up the Kosovo striker to tap in to the empty net.
Atletico, which was eliminated from European competition last week, fell from third to sixth in the LaLiga standings on 24 points, eight behind Real Madrid who play Cadiz on Thursday and 13 adrift of leader Barcelona.
Unbeaten in the last four matches, Mallorca climbed to 10th on 19 points.
“I think there is no explanation,” Atletico captain Koke told DAZN.
“When you enter this bad dynamic, it looks like nothing works. We are going through a bad run.
“I don’t know if the World Cup break is good or bad, honestly. We have to keep working hard to try to change this dynamic.”
A few minutes after Mallorca’s early goal, Alvaro Morata had an effort ruled out for offside. It was one of the few chances that a toothless Atletico created until very late in the second-half.
Mallorca goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic kept out Atletico’s best chance with an excellent save to stop a point-blank strike from Morata in the 87th minute.
Real Sociedad leapfrogged Atletico in the table up to third earlier on Wednesday after winning 2-1 at Sevilla, which played most of the game with nine men after Ivan Rakitic and Tanguy Nianzou were sent off.
Both received straight red cards within six minutes in the first half.
Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth put Real Sociedad into the lead with a delightful dink over the goalkeeper in the 20th minute, eight minutes before Rakitic was sent off for stepping on Brais Mendez’s ankle from behind.
Nianzou caught Mendez with an almost knee-high tackle from the side and the referee showed him a straight red after checking with the pitchside VAR monitor.
Mendez doubled Real’s lead two minutes later with a tidy finish after being set up by Mikel Merino for his second assist of the night.
Rafa Mir reduced the deficit right after the break with a towering header but Real cruised to victory as the match petered out in the second half.
Sevilla, record six-time Europa League winner, is 17th in the league standings on 11 points, level with Celta Vigo and Cadiz which is in the relegation zone on goal difference but have a game in hand.
Sevilla has won only three matches in all competitions this season.