Real Madrid had a late Rodrygo goal ruled out and midfielder Toni Kroos sent off for the first time in his career as the title chasers were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Girona on Sunday.
The point means La Liga leaders Real surrendered ground to great rivals Barcelona in the title race after the Catalans pinched a late victory at Valencia on Saturday to sit just one point behind Carlo Ancelotti's side.
Madrid took the lead through Vinicius Junior in the 70th minute but Cristhian Stuani levelled with a disputed penalty after Marco Asensio handled in the area.
Rodrygo bashed home what he thought was an 89th-minute winner, but it was disallowed as he was judged to have kicked the ball out from under Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga's hand.
Madrid midfielder Kroos was sent off in stoppage time for the first time in his career, to cap a frustrating afternoon for Ancelotti's team at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"I don't like to talk about this a lot, but today I'll talk," said Madrid coach Ancelotti. "The first situation is quite clear, it's not a penalty because he didn't touch the ball with his hand.
"I spoke with Asensio and he touched the ball with his chest, it's true he had his left hand in a strange position, but it covered the body, it didn't make it bigger. There could have been doubt if it touched it, but simply he didn't touch the ball with his hand, it was invented."
Sunday's setback comes just days after the defending Spanish champions lost their first match of the season, away to RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
They were again without Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, who continues to struggle with a thigh problem.
Rodrygo hit the post for Madrid, while Girona's Yangel Herrera crashed a strike against the crossbar in the first half, before Vinicius opened the scoring from Fede Valverde's pass with 20 minutes remaining.
Asensio almost doubled the lead, but Gazzaniga made a spectacular reflex save to keep Girona in the game.
They capitalised when Asensio was ruled to have handled a David Lopez shot and Stuani sent Thibaut Courtois the wrong way from the penalty spot.
"From what I remember the referees said at the start of the season if it hit another part of your body first, it's not given," said Courtois.
"They thought it was a penalty today, and that's that. It's strange, sometimes it's handball, sometimes it's not, we don't know."
The goal meant the Belgian again failed to keep a clean sheet in La Liga - he's without any in eight matches this season.
Girona were good value for their point, even though it nearly slipped out of their hands when Rodrygo pounced at the end, but the goal was disallowed for the offence against Gazzaniga.
"Speaking in a football sense, it's a goal, but the rule says if the goalkeeper has his hand planted, then it's a foul," admitted Girona coach Michel, able to celebrate a good result on his 47th birthday, which moved his team up to 16th.
Germany international Kroos was sent off with a second yellow card in stoppage time - the first time he has received a red card in more than 750 career games.
The result keeps 16th-placed Girona out of the relegation zone on goal difference.