Real Madrid fought back from two goals and a man down to salvage a 2-2 draw with Osasuna in Pamplona, but failed to make up much ground on Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the Primera Division title race.
Oriol Riera struck twice for the hosts in the first half and an Osasuna win looked all the more certain when Sergio Ramos was sent off for two bookable offences.
However, Isco gave Madrid hope by scoring just moments before half-time and a headed goal by Pepe completed the comeback on 80 minutes, by which time Osasuna had also been reduced to 10 men, with Francisco Silva dismissed for picking up two yellow cards.
Carlo Ancelotti's side remain in third place and could be five points behind either one or both of their title rivals come the end of the weekend.
Madrid made a bright start to the game, Ronaldo blazing over the bar with barely a minute gone, and the Portuguese missed a further two attempts in the opening nine minutes.
But Osasuna soon made their presence felt. Roberto Torres gave the first warning, inexplicably shooting over from just a few yards out, and then came the goal.
Riera exploited slack marking from Alvaro Arbeloa to ghost in at the far post and head in a cross from Marc Bertran.
Madrid looked for an immediate response but, faced with a stubborn Osasuna midfield and defence, were limited to long range efforts in their search for an equaliser, although Luka Modric thought he should have been awarded a penalty when he was felled by Alejandro Arribas.
But the danger from the visitors did not subside either. Emiliano Armenteros forced Diego Lopez to scramble across his line to turn a free-kick round the post but the next time the goalkeeper had to make a save, this time to keep out a header from Damia Abella, he could only send the ball up into the air, allowing Riera to nod in goal number two.
Things got even worse for Madrid when Ramos clashed with Roberto Torres a few minutes before the break and earned his second yellow card of the game and subsequently his second dismissal in 17 days, his 18th for Real Madrid.
However, Isco gave the beleaguered Blancos a lift right before the half-time whistle, arrowing into the bottom corner from the semi circle.
Despite being a man down, Madrid produced a better performance in the second half.
Ronaldo missed a chance to equalise 13 minutes after the re-start, shooting just over the bar after a through ball from Isco.
However, Osasuna could have put the game to bed on 69 minutes, when Torres was put through on goal with just Lopez to beat but shot straight at the goalkeeper.
The hosts relinquished their numerical advantage with 11 minutes remaining when Francisco Silva was shown his second yellow card of the night for a nasty challenge on Ronaldo, and Madrid equalised from the corresponding free-kick, Pepe heading in Isco's floated cross.
Madrid had a flurry of half chances in the last 10 minutes but were unable to take any of them and return to the Spanish capital with a point, the same result Barca managed at this stadium in October.