Atletico Madrid came within a whisker of their first league win over Barcelona in eight years on Saturday only for Ousmane Dembele to dash their hopes with a dramatic equalizer in injury-time.
Diego Costa looked to have decided a dreary contest at the Wanda Metropolitano when he headed in his first La Liga goal since February with 13 minutes left. Atletico would have gone on top of the table but, Barreca produced another fightback as Dembele, slid home a cool finish in the 90th minute to earn the visitors a 1-1 draw.
Diego Simeone was asked after the match what his team had lacked. “Four minutes,” he said, grinning. Certainly, the relief was palpable in the celebrations of the luminous yellow shirts in the corner but perhaps just as grateful were Real Madrid, beaten 3-0 by Eibar earlier in the day.
Santiago Solari had proven the perfect caretaker but his debut as permanent coach ended in a disastrous and deserved, defeat at Ipurua. Madrid’s only consolation was that neither Atletico nor Barca was able to secure the win that would have pulled them a further three points away. Costa almost had it, scoring his first goal in 18 league games to surely end Atletico’s joyless run against Barca, which stretches back to February 2010.
But Dembele, dropped by coach Ernesto Valverde for the defeat to Real Betis before the international with a clinical finish when it mattered most.
From Online Sources