Under par Atletico Madrid held at Villarreal

Madrid: Atletico Madrid missed the chance to move top of La Liga for a few hours at least as they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Villarreal on Sunday.

Mario`s own goal less than two minutes in gave Atletico the perfect start, but Villarreal went on to dominate the game and were rewarded 12 minutes from time when Juanfran also turned into his own net under pressure from Ikechukwu Uche.

Atletico are now level on points with Barcelona having played a game more, but the Catalans can open up a three point gap at the top of the table with a win against Real Betis later on Sunday.

With left-back Filipe Luis suspended and Diego Godin away on international duty with Uruguay, Atleti boss Diego Simeone was forced into two changes from the side that booked their place in the Champions League last-16 on Wednesday and Emiliano Insua and Toby Alderweireld were handed rare starts.

However, Atletico still made the best possible start as Juanfran picked out Koke at the back post and in his attempt to stop the Spanish international, Mario headed into his own net.

Villarreal should have been level instantly as Cani fired wastefully wide when completely unmarked inside the area.

Courtois was then forced to parry Bruno Soriano`s free-kick as the hosts continued to threaten.

However, as the half wore on, Atletico began to create chances on the counter-attack and from one such move Diego Costa picked out David Villa and his effort was straight at Sergio Asenjo.

Villarreal continued to press after the break, but struggled to break down the visitors` well-organised defence.

Jonathan Pereira pulled his shot just wide with a rare opening on 64 minutes before Courtois collected Manuel Trigueros` effort from the edge of the area at the second attempt.

But the hosts did finally get a deserved equaliser 12 minutes from time when substitute Jeremy Perbet got to the by-line and his low cross was also turned into his own net by Juanfran.

Simeone then introduced Adrian Lopez for the tired looking Costa suggesting he would be happy to settle for a point.

And that is how it finished as Atletico dropped points for just the second time this season.

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