Ten-man Espanyol battled to a 1-1 La Liga draw at Atletico Madrid on Sunday after another disappointing result for Diego Simeone’s side was knocked out of European competition.
Atletico, who have won only one of their last six matches in all competitions, are third in the standings with 24 points, eight behind Real Madrid who play Rio Vallecano on Monday and 10 behind leaders Barcelona . Betis with 23 points and Real Sociedad on 22 have a game in hand and could overtake Atletico at the end of Sunday.
Espanyol finished 16th, one point clear of the relegation zone.
Despite playing most of the match with 10 men after defender Leandro Cabrera was shown a straight red card for a last-man foul on Alvaro Morata, Espanyol defended well against the home team, scoring 27 goals against six from the visitors. had tried to do.
Espanyol also scored his only shot on target in the second half when Sergi Darder was set off a volley home by a Joselu header in the 66th minute. Substitute Joao Felix saved a point for Atlético in the 78th minute, following a counter-attack with a precision shot into the bottom corner.
“We are not well, it is not normal what is happening to us,” Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak told DAZN. “It’s a result that doesn’t help at all. We tried but we’re stuck in a hole that nothing is working.” Maybe it’s a psychological thing, when your mind isn’t right. The body doesn’t react.” Atlético made a strong start and pressed Espanyol, who went to 10 men after Cabrera caught Morata from behind in the 28th minute as the striker was running towards goal.
But the hosts squandered many chances to fall at the hands of Antoine Griezmann, Marcos Llorente, Morata, ngel Correa and Jose Maria Jiménez. Portugal striker Joao Felix, who has been at Simeone’s side several times this season, came off the bench to score and became Atletico’s best player for a second consecutive league match.
He made the equalizer with a superb individual game, went down the left channel to score with an unstoppable strike and was denied twice by goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte.