Sports Desk, Oct 28 (EFE).- Atletico Madrid led twice in Thursday’s match against UD Levante, but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with the second-from-bottom side in LaLiga.
The defending champions are sixth in the table on 19 points, 5 behind current leaders Real Sociedad, though the Colchoneros have a game in hand.
Atleti were fully in control in the first half at Ciutat de Valencia, taking the lead in the 12th minute on Antoine Griezmann’s header from close range on a set piece
The Frenchman took the initial corner kick and was in the right place at the right time to connect with a ball across goal after Hector Herrera’s shot was deflected.
After finally breaking out of their own half in the 17th minute, the hosts grew in confidence and the perfect opportunity to strike back materialized in the 36th minute.
Levante won a corner and Atleti’s Luis Suarez brought down Ruben Vezo in the area during a scramble for the ball in front of Jan Oblak’s goal.
The referee pointed to the spot and Enis Bardhi converted to level the score at 1-1.
The home side had more energy in the second half, yet Atletico reclaimed the lead in the 76th minute on a goal from Matheus Cunha, assisted by fellow sub Rodrigo de Paul.
As the match was entering the final 10 minutes, visiting coach Diego Simeone was sent off for arguing with the referee, ensuring that he would not be on the touchline to protest when Levante were awarded a second penalty for a soft hand ball.
Again it was Bardhi who took the kick and the Macedonian completed his brace to make it 2-2.
Earlier Thursday in Vigo, Real Sociedad beat Celta on goals by Alexander Isak and Aritz Elustondo and a fine performance by keeper Maty Ryan.
The result brings Sociedad to seven wins, three draws and one defeat after 11 matches – matching their record at the same point in the 1981-1982 season, when they won the first of two LaLiga titles.