Madrid, Nov 3 (IANS) Atletico Madrid was held to a late 1-1 draw by Leganes on Saturday in the 11th round of La Liga here at Butarque stadium, where Atletico previously suffered two draws in the past two years.
Atletico felt the absence of key players such as Diego Godin, Koke and Diego Costa, meaning coach Diego Simeone opted for a starting lineup that featured the debut of Portugal forward Gelson Martins.
Leganes, which had suffered a defeat and a draw in the past two Spanish league games, was hungry for a victory against Atletico, reports Efe news.
The first half did not present many clear scoring opportunities, with Atletico forward Angel Correa nearly opening the scoring in the first minutes of the match, but his shot hit the crossbar.
Leganes forward Youssef En-Nesyri posed a threat to Atletico’s goal with repeated attempts to score, and nearly did on a header that just missed the target, leaving the game stuck at 0-0 at the half.
After the break, Atletico started to cause trouble for Leganes, but the hosts fought back and En-Nesyri won a race up the right side to fire a powerful shot cleared by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
Atletico’s star forward Antoine Griezmann responded by scoring a precise shot from a free kick in the 69th minute, while Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar watched helplessly.
The Spanish net minder redeemed himself a few minutes later with an exceptional save, preventing Griezmann from doubling the lead.
With just eight minutes to go, substitute Leganes forward Guido Carrillo managed to net the equalizer when a free kick ricocheted favorably off the crossbar, setting him up to score his third goal this season.
Leganes fought to defend the tie, while Atletico did its best to net a late winner, but was held to its third tie at Butarque.