Real Madrid Slump to Fourth Straight Draw
Bale vs Eibar (Getty Images)
BARCELONA- Real Madrid's stuttering run continued as they were held 1-1 at home by La Liga minnows Eibar, drawing a fourth consecutive game in all competitions for the first time in more than a decade.
Fran Rico stunned the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium by opening the scoring for the visiting side in the sixth minute, facilitated by some questionable Real defending and goalkeeping from Keylor Navas.
Gareth Bale headed home a Cristiano Ronaldo cross to level in the 17th minute and score his 50th La Liga goal. The Wales international even came close to grabbing the winner in the second half but headed against the far post.
Real were jeered off the pitch at the final whistle, which signalled a fourth consecutive draw following stalemates with Villarreal and Las Palmas and their 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Real surrendered top spot to Atletico Madrid, who beat Valencia 2-0 earlier and provisionally top the table on goal difference.
Antoine Griezmann made amends for missing a second penalty in as many games by hitting the opening goal as Atletico were made to sweat to take all three points at Valencia.
The France hitman saw his first-half penalty beaten away by spot-kick saving specialist Diego Alves, who repelled another penalty from Gabi later on. But he finally blasted past the Brazilian goalkeeper in the 63rd minute, while Kevin Gameiro sealed the points in injury time.
Griezmann finished off a sweeping Atletico break after Yannick Carrasco had teed up substitute Fernando Torres, forcing Alves to parry, and Gameiro knocked the ball back for his fellow Frenchman to fire into the unguarded net.
Atletico withstood late pressure from the home side and Gameiro powered his way towards goal in the dying seconds, dancing past a defender to smash past Alves from close range.
Griezmann, who had struck the bar from the spot against Bayern and in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, missed a third straight penalty for Atletico as Alves dived to his right to save yet another spot-kick after setting a La Liga record last week.
After Griezmann had broken the deadlock Alves made his 19th penalty save in the league by denying Atletico captain Gabi from 12 metres, but his feats proved anecdotal.
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