Atletico Madrid laboured to a 2-2 draw away at Villarreal in La Liga in a match lit up by a wonderful Angel Correa effort.
The Argentine scored from the centre circle after nipping the ball off the toes of Dani Parejo. His drilled shot was perfect and it soared over Geronimo Rulli in the Villarreal goal.
Villarreal thought they had pulled one back courtesy of Parejo after a poor Gerard Moreno penalty was saved by Jan Oblak but pushed into his path. It was judged to have hit his hand before his hip by VAR.
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But it did not take long for Villarreal to make amends. The usually reliable Oblak fumbled the ball and Pau Torres was on hand to capitalise from close range.
The Atletico keeper should have again done better when Gerard Moreno stabbed a ball through the heart of his defence and into the path of his namesake Albert, with the defender’s effort looping up and into the net after his attempted save.
Atletico fought their way back into the game, helped as Joao Felix and Koke came on. And within moments Geoffrey Kondogbia saw his drive from the edge of the box level things.
From there the champions continued to push for a winner but their disjointed performance failed to generate any chances of note.
A draw suits neither team, but Villarreal will be disappointed after being the much the better team.

Oblak, desolado tras encajar uno de los goles ante el Villarreal

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT

Atletico continue to labour in the league: A draw was a good result for an Atletico Madrid side that created little and lacked cohesion. The champions should be aiming higher, but tonight’s result just about forces them into fourth spot. The reality is that they cannot expect more. Villarreal sliced through their midfield with ease at times and should have done more to punish them with the space they enjoyed in wide areas. It is telling, now that Kieran Trippier plays in the black and white of Newcastle, that many of Villarreal’s chances came from the flanks and the pace of Alberto Moreno. They may have ended their losing streak last week, but Simeone still needs to turn this season around. .

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Gerard Moreno: Despite his missed penalty, the Spain striker was everywhere. Early in the second half, he trapped the ball on his chest then wandered through the challenges of two Atletico midfielders. It was a petulant display of skill and strength and he was dragged to the floor for it; a sign of the utmost respect from an Atletico Madrid player.
His ball to create the second goal was inch-perfect. Two Atletico defenders charged to close off his threat which freed space for Alberto Moreno to squeeze the ball under Jan Oblak. He should have finished the game on the winning side, but as Atletico turned up the heat in the final few moments, it was Moreno that was frozen out of the action.

PLAYER RATINGS

Villarreal: Rulli 5, Foyth 6, Albiol 6, Torres 7, Estupinan 6, Capoue 7, Parejo 6, Gomez 6, Trigueros 5, A. Moreno 7, G. Moreno 8. Subs: Iborra 6, Pino 5, Pedraza 6, Jackson 5.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak 5, Llorente 5, Felipe 6, Hermoso 6, Lodi 5, Carrasco 6, De Paul 5, Kondogbia 7, Lemar 7, Correa 8, Cunha 5. Subs: Koke 5, Felix 6, Vrsaljko 5.

KEY MOMENTS

9’ A RIDICULOUS GOAL FROM THEIR OWN HALF Angel Correa sticks out a foot and latches on to a loose pass in the centre circle. One look up and he drills a beautifully parabolic shot past Rulli in the Villarreal goal.
23’ PENALTY MISSED Gerard Moreno's penalty is weak and Oblak pushes it into the mixer, but quickest on the scene is Dani Parejo. It bounced off his hip and he doesn't care.
25’ GOAL OVERRULED That is so harsh. It looked like a jumble of bodies pushed the ball into the net, but it was adjudged to have grazed a Villarreal hand. They still trail.
28’ GOAL Oblak spills and from the resulting scramble, Pau Torres stabs home. After having a goal disallowed, Villarreal will the ball into the net.
58’ VILLARREAL 2 - ATLETICO MADRID 1 Alberto Moreno makes it two after being set loose on goal by his namesake Gerard. Oblak again should have done better as his save looped up and into his net.
68’ VILLARREAL 2 - ATLETICO MADRID 2 The changes make an immediate difference. After great play in the box, Rulli can only stab a clearance into the path of Kondogbia who drills the ball under the keeper and into the net.
90’+1 KONDOGBIA SENT OFF The goal scorer takes a slightly early shower after a second yellow. It was a clear shoulder charge and the 10 men of Atletico have a minute to hold on.

KEY STATS

  • Villareal have now scored 28 goals in the last 30 days. More than any other team in Europe’s top leagues in the same period.
  • Before tonight’s miss, Gerard Moreno had scored 14 penalties on the bounce.
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