A Jonas Ramalho own goal eight minutes from time ensured Atletico Madrid stole a share of the spoils away to Girona this afternoon.
The Blanquivermell are in a terrific run of form, sitting in seventh position in La Liga and currently the fifth best form team in the league. Eusebio’s men had collected 11 of the last 15 points available before the match, including wins over Espanyol, Valencia and Rayo Vallecano.
Atleti have also had a fantastic run of form, and haven’t lost a league game since the 1st of September. Diego Simeone had to make deal with an expansive injury list, with Diego Godin, Juanfran and Filipe Luis all missing out. With a lack of full backs, Simeone had to place midfielder Saul into the left back slot for the match.
It was the 24-year old who had the visiting side’s best chance of the first half, pacing up the pitch to collect a Diego Costa pass and playing a one-two with Antoine Griezmann, however his thunderous strike smashed the underside of the bar and the game remained goalless.
It was the hosts who took a one goal advantage in to half time. VAR ruled that Jan Oblak had tripped Cristhian Stuani inside the penalty area, and the former Middlesbrough attacker successfully converted the spot kick to grab his eleventh goal of the season, taking him to the top of the goal scoring charts.
Girona nearly doubled their lead in the early stages of the second half when Alex Granell saw his shot from outside the box saved by Oblak.
Atleti then had their best opportunity of the match when Saul forced a fantastic fingertip save from substitute Gorka Iraizoz, who had just replaced an injured Yassine Bounou.
The keeper couldn’t do anything to stop Los Colchoneros’ 82nd minute equaliser. Ramalho successfully tackled the ball from Diego Costa from 20 yards out, however the ball looped over the keeper and into the empty net, and the game finished a goal apiece.
Girona remain in seventh place, equal on points with fellow Catalonians Espanyol. They welcome Alaves to the Estadi Montilivi on Wednesday for the second leg in the Copa del Rey Round of 32, with the sides on even terms at 2-2.
Atleti missed out on the chance of climbing above Barcelona and Sevilla in to first place and now remain in third. They welcome Tercera Division side Sant Andreu to the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday where they hold a 1-0 advantage.
Girona (3-4-2-1): Bounou (Iraizoz, 72); Ramalho, Espinosa, Ramirez Lopez; Porro, Pere Pons, Garcia Serrano (Fernandez, 83), Granell; Borja, Roberts (Portu, 66); Stuani
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias (Gelson, 74), Savic, Lucas, Saul; Koke, Thomas, Rodri (Correa, 64), Lemar; Griezmann, Diego Costa