Atletico salvage 1-1 derby draw against Real
BARCELONA, Spain (AP):
Atletico Madrid substitute Luciano Vietto scored a late goal to snatch a 1-1 draw against crosstown rivals Real Madrid yesterday, denying Rafa Benitez's side the chance to reclaim the Spanish league lead.
Karim Benzema gave Madrid a great start with his league-leading sixth goal to quiet the Vicente Calderon crowd just nine minutes into the match, and goalkeeper Keylor Navas protected that advantage by saving Antoine Griezmann's penalty in the 22nd minute.
But as Madrid settled for defending instead of seeking a second goal to seal the win, Atletico pushed forward and Vietto poked in a cross from fellow substitute Jackson Martinez that the goalie couldn't handle in the 83rd.
"We had the win in our hands," Navas said. "This isn't the result we wanted, but it's a point and we have to value it. We committed a mistake and in these games errors are paid for dearly."
Still unbeaten, Madrid squandered the opportunity to overtake Villarreal at the top of the standings after the leader lost 1-0 at Levante earlier.
Madrid were left one point behind in second place, level on points with Celta Vigo in third and Barcelona in fourth after the defending champions' 2-1 loss at Sevilla on Saturday.
Diego Simeone's Atletico remained in fifth place, three points off Vilarreal's pace.
"We snatched a point, and tried to get the win, but it wasn't to be," the 21-year-old Vietto said after his first goal for Atletico since transferring from Villareal following his breakout last season.