The Dutch strikers Roy Makaay of Deportivo and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink of Atletico both scored two goals to floor the Primera Division's heavyweights.
An entertaining derby saw Real beaten convincingly by Atletico, with all four goals coming in a frantic first half. Real have now gone eight League games without a win. Towards the end of the game, handkerchiefs were waved by many in the capacity 87,000 crowd to protest over the team's showing and to show their dissatisfaction with the coach, John Toshack.
"It was a fair result. In fact it could have been worse. We lacked concentration and I'm not going to use our injury problems as an excuse," the Welshman said. "Our performance was a long way from what I want." Fernando Morientes put Real ahead but Hasselbaink's two goals plus another from Jose Mari Romero gave Atletico victory.
In Galicia, Deportivo looked sharper and stronger, while Barcelona's back line gave a jittery performance, allowing Makaay to score twice in the first 15 minutes. The leaders were made to look distinctly second rate as La Coruna played some of their best football of the season.
"Deportivo had the good fortune to score two early goals. When we recovered it was too late," Barcelona's coach, Louis van Gaal, said. His side's consolation goal came from the Brazilian, Rivaldo.
In Italy's Serie A, Alessandro Del Piero converted a late penalty to give Juventus a 1-0 win over Piacenza yesterday and cut Lazio's lead at the top of the league to a point.
Lazio needed a 90th-minute equaliser to save their unbeaten record in a 1-1 draw at Internazionale on Saturday. Inter had taken the lead in the 36th minute when Ivan Zamorano latched on to an excellent pass from Paulo Sousa and gave the Lazio goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani no chance with a confident finish. But just before the end Lazio's Giuseppe Pancaro scrambled the ball over the line from close range.