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La Liga: Atletico Madrid held by Celta de Vigo

Alvaro Morata

Bengaluru, July 8: Atletico Madrid were forced to share spoils for the third time since the La Liga season resumed after the lengthy break forced by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as they were held 1-1 away by a struggling Celta Vigo.

In a match that never rose above mediocre at Pontevedra, striker Alvaro Morata got the visitors off to the perfect start by tapping an Angel Correa cross into an empty net in the opening minute itself.

But Celta's Fran Beltran levelled early, just three minutes into the second half on the volley.

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Atletico Madrid are third in the standings on 63 points after 35 games and the draw edged them closer to securing a top-four finish as they moved nine above fifth-placed Villarreal, who are in action away to Getafe on Wednesday (July 8).

Celta meanwhile nudged a step closer towards guaranteeing survival in the top flight as they moved on to 36 points in 15th, seven above the relegation zone.

Results | Points Table | Fixtures

"It was a very evenly matched game," said goalscorer Morata.

"This is a very difficult ground to go to, Celta play very good football and don't deserve to be where they're in the table. They've a great squad and will get back towards the top in the future."

Once Beltran had equalised, neither side showed enough ambition to go and find a winner and the final whistle signalled a 15th draw of the season for each side, a record only matched in La Liga this season by Real Valladolid.

Atletico Madrid were without record signing Joao Felix through injury and in-form winger Yannick Carrasco due to illness while striker Diego Costa was suspended.

Despite making the ideal start, Atletico appeared to lack hunger in attack and began to resemble the timid, conservative style they showed for much of the campaign before the coronavirus disruption.

Their best moment in a flat second half came with a shot from outside the box from Thomas Lemar which was tipped away by Celta's substitute goalkeeper Ivan Villar, who came on late in the game to replace the injured Ruben Blanco.

Barcelona, whose title defence is on the line host Espanyol in a late-night kick off at Camp Nou.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 10:43 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 8, 2020
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