Barcelona salvage late draw with Atletico, Eibar shock Real Madrid

barcelona salvage late draw with atletico eibar shock real madrid

A last minute equalizer earned Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Saturday to keep them top of La Liga, one point ahead of their hosts.

Atletico were set for victory and the top spot when they took the lead on 77 minutes from Diego Costa’s header from Koke's corner.

But substitute Ousmane Dembele struck in the 90th minute from Leo Messi’s pass to rescue a share of the spoils.

It was an at times ill-tempered affair with no shots on goal in the first half.

"It was not an outstanding game. They sat back in defended and allowed us to dominate," said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.

“There were not many chances and we had to have patience. We also had to watch carefully for their counter-attacks.

“We knew they would be strong from set-pieces and that is how their goal came but we were able to get back into the game.”

Asked about Dembele he said: “He is a great player. That is not in doubt. He can do many things well and one of those is to score.”

A disappointed Diego Simeone said: “It was a hard fought draw. They did not have too many clear-cut chances. Our commitment was superb."

Asked about Costa he said: “Costa was like an animal out there. He got a knock at the end nothing more. That is why we had to take him off."

The draw keeps Barcelona a point clear and gives both teams another point advantage over faltering Real Madrid, though Sevilla could leapfrog the pair go top of the table with a win over Valladolid on Sunday.

Earlier, minnows Eibar picked up their first ever victory over the Madrid giants by winning 3-0 at Ipurua.

The rout started on 11 minutes when Marc Cucurella crossed from the left and when Thibaut Courtois saved Sergi Enrich's shot Dani Ceballos cleared straight to Gonzalo Escalante who bundled the ball over the line.

On 53 minutes Enrich made it 2-0 by converting Cucurella's cross after the Barcelona loanee dispossessed Alvaro Odriozola.

And it was 3-0 five minutes later when Kike Garcia turned in another cross from Cucurella.

“People don’t know too much about Cucurella maybe he surprised people with his performance and his position,” said Eibar coach Jose Luis Mendilibar.

“We had to hold on in the second half but we never dropped too deep. We had the chance to score more goals.”

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari was taking charge of his first game since being given them the job on a permanent basis. He had excelled as a caretaker with four straight wins.

Solari said: “We have to correct our mistakes. We obviously wanted the win here but I'm sure we can put these things right.”

Sixth-placed Real are five points behind Barcelona and two ahead of Eibar who are eighth.

Also on Saturday, Valencia beat Rayo Vallecano 3-0 and Huesca and Levante played out a 2-2 draw.

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