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Villarreal 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Simeone's side denied LaLiga top spot

Atletico Madrid missed the opportunity to go top of LaLiga as Mario Gaspar's strike secured a 1-1 draw for Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

After a sluggish start to the season, which saw Atletico win just one of their opening four games, Diego Simeone's side had given themselves a glorious chance of reaching the league's summit with three wins in their last four outings.

Filipe Luis looked to have set them on their way to another victory, heading in after 51 minutes, but Mario's deflected effort 14 minutes later earned Javi Calleja's side a deserved point.

They could have even gone on to win the game, but were kept at bay by some superb goalkeeping from Jan Oblak, while Atletico had their chance to win it when Thomas Lemar somehow headed Juanfran's cross wide with a minute remaining.

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The closest either side came during a tepid opening half-hour was Antoine Griezmann's dipping effort from 25 yards, which flashed just over Sergio Asenjo's crossbar.

Oblak had to be alert soon after to tip over Jaume Costa's deflected strike and preserve his side’s status as the only team in Europe's top five leagues not to concede a first-half goal this season.

The visitors forged ahead after the restart when Griezmann's inswinging free-kick was headed against his own crossbar by Ramiro Funes Mori and Luis nodded in the rebound from 10 yards.

They were pegged back after 65 minutes, however, when Gaspar's low strike was deflected past Oblak.

The goalkeeper had to be at his very best to push away Pablo Fornals' drive soon after and then thwart the clean-through Carlos Bacca to ensure his side at least left with a point. 

Atletico almost claimed victory with Lemar's late chance, but an end-to-end finish did not produce a winner.