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La Liga: Atletico Madrid Held 1-1 By Levante But Move 6 Points in Clear of Real Madrid

Atletico Madrid and Levante (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Atletico Madrid and Levante (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Atletico Madrid and Levante 1-1 draw but still extended their lead over Real Madrid to six points atop La Liga.

Atletico Madrid was held to a 1-1 draw at Levante on Wednesday in a Spanish league match postponed from the second round, a result that still extended its lead over Real Madrid to six points.

Seeking its first league title since 2014, Atletico still has a game in hand compared to its city rival. Diego Simeone's team is unbeaten in 11 straight league matches but has drawn two of its last three.

The match had been postponed as Atletico and other teams were given extra time to rest after participating in European competitions later into last season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Atletico had won nine of its last 10 league matches, with the only setback a 2-2 home draw against Celta Vigo two rounds ago in a game in which it conceded a late equalizer.

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Levante took the lead through Enis Bardhi after a breakaway in the 17th minute. Marcos Llorente equalized for the visitors in the 37th with a shot from outside the area that deflected off a defender before going in.

Angel Correa had a great chance to score the winner early in the second half but missed the net from close range with only the goalkeeper to beat off the rebound of a shot by Luis Suarez.

Atletico forward Saul Nguez had a goal disallowed for offside near the end and Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a great save in the final minutes to keep the match level.

Levante and Atletico will meet again on Saturday in Madrid in the 24th round.

Atletico has a tough schedule ahead, with matches against Chelsea in the Champions League and Villarreal and Real Madrid in the Spanish league.

Simeone’s team saw the return of Joo Flix after a positive coronavirus test, though he started on the bench. Moussa Dembele, Thomas Lemar and Hector Herrera remained out because of the virus. Defender Jos Mara Gimenez was back in the squad after an injury.

Levante, sitting in 11th place, hasn't won in its last seven league matches against Atletico, with five losses and two draws. It is winless in the league since a victory at Real Madrid three rounds ago, though it recently made it to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey for the first time in 86 years.

Midfielder Koke made his 484th official appearance for Atletico to surpass Toms Reones and become the player with the second-most matches in the club’s history, behind the 550 of Adelardo Rodrguez.

first published:February 18, 2021, 02:06 IST