Madrid: Real Madrid moved three points clear at the top of La Liga as Barcelona suffered their second league defeat in four games with a 3-1 reverse away to Real Sociedad on Saturday night.
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi is dejected after the loss. Pic/Getty Images
Earlier, Madrid had comfortably seen off Elche 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks in part to a spectacular long-range strike from Gareth Bale.
Barcelona had come into the game on a high after beating Manchester City in their much-anticipated Champions League tie on Tuesday, but went behind when Alex Song turned Sergio Canales' cross into his own net.
Lionel Messi restored parity almost instantly with a clinical left-footed finish. However, two goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half from Antoine Griezmann and David Zurutuza handed Sociedad a deserved victory.
"We didn't feel comfortable and we didn't have possession, which is our strength. That allowed then to create chances," Barca defender Gerard Pique told Spanish TV station Canal Plus.
"Now we have a week to rest and reflect on why things didn't go well. It is not worrying, we just have to continue onto the next game."
Barca boss Gerardo Martino had made six changes from the side that started in Manchester as Neymar made his first start in a month.
After a slow start from the visitors, Pedro came close to opening the scoring when he sliced Andres Iniesta's pass just wide.