Atletico Madrid slip in title race, draw 1-1 against Girona

Atletico Madrid slip in title race, draw 1-1 against Girona

Atletico Madrid’s faint hopes of chasing down runaway Liga leaders Barcelona suffered a contemporary blow on Saturday as they have been held to a 1-1 draw at house to Girona, that means they might fall 11 factors behind the Catalans by the top of the weekend.

Antoine Griezmann capitalised on a cushioned Diego Costa header to volley Atletico forward in the 34th minute and rating for the primary time in 5 league video games, however Liga debutants Girona have brought about issues for the highest teams all season and hit again.

With one eye on subsequent week’s King’s Cup quarter-final second leg against Sevilla, Simeone withdrew Costa after 61 minutes and Griezmann after 71 and Girona didn’t take lengthy to capitalise on the lowered attacking risk.

Visiting striker Portu slid in to beat goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the 73rd minute after Atletico midfielder Koke did not correctly clear the hazard in the realm and the ball landed on the toes of Bernardo Espinoza who performed it via.

Atletico have been lucky to not have Oblak despatched off late on when the Slovenian rushed out of his space and introduced down Kenyan ahead Michael Olunga however was solely proven a yellow card.

Diego Simeone’s second-placed facet have 43 factors from 20 video games however Barca can stretch their benefit in the event that they win at Real Betis on Sunday, whereas third-placed Valencia may transfer stage with Atletico in the event that they beat Las Palmas away afterward Saturday.

“It’s hard to explain the substitutions because people will just look at the result,” Simeone mentioned.

“Costa had discomfort in his muscles in the first half and I preferred to take him off so he didn’t get injured. I took off Griezmann because I thought the game was under control and Koke could give us an extra hand in the middle to provide passes to (Kevin) Gameiro but that didn’t happen.”

IMPRESSIVE SEVILLA

Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella earned his first win in La Liga on the third try earlier on Saturday as his spectacular facet secured a 3-Zero win at Espanyol to go fifth in the standings.

Franco Vazquez knocked in a unfastened ball on the rebound after a effectively crafted transfer to place Sevilla in entrance in the 15th minute, the primary time that they had taken the lead in a Liga recreation underneath the Italian coach, who succeeded Eduardo Berizzo in December.

Pablo Sarabia added one other earlier than halftime and Luis Muriel rounded off the victory with a late third.

Sevilla misplaced to Real Betis and Alaves in their first two Liga video games underneath Montella however have been lifted by a late fightback that noticed them beat Atletico 2-1 in the King’s Cup on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Montella’s facet doubled their benefit against Espanyol in the 34th minute with a scorching run via the defence and a prime nook end by midfielder Sarabia.

Espanyol, who defeated metropolis rivals Barcelona 1-Zero in their King’s Cup first leg in midweek, improved after the interval and ought to have pulled a aim again when Leo Baptistao obtained the ball unmarked from shut vary however despatched it flying over the bar.

Sevilla’s Colombia ahead Muriel netted the third aim in the 90th minute with a powerful run previous three defenders in the field and a robust end.

Sevilla, who face Manchester United in the final 16 of the Champions League, now have 32 factors though Villarreal may climb again above them after they host Levante afterward Saturday.

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