Atletico’s slip-up gives lifeline to Barca, Real

Sevilla recovered from missing an early penalty to beat La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid 1-0 at home yesterday morning (Singapore time) and hand a lifeline to title challengers Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak saved a penalty for the second game in a row when he repelled Lucas Ocampos' spot-kick in the eighth minute, while Sevilla's Joan Jordan hit the bar moments later.

The hosts eventually found a breakthrough in the 70th minute when Marcos Acuna headed in a cross from fellow fullback Jesus Navas, with the referee ignoring Atletico's claims that Ocampos handled the ball at the start of the move.

Atletico still top the standings on 66 points, but third-placed Barcelona can move within a point of them with a win at home to Real Valladolid this morning. Real Madrid are on 63 points after beating Eibar 2-0 last Saturday.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone said they need to increase their intensity levels and find a way to play like they did at the start of the season.- REUTERS