Bizarre own-goal saves Atlético from Spanish league defeat

·4 min read

MADRID (AP) — Luis Suárez's first goal of the season wasn't enough for Atlético Madrid to extend its perfect record in the Spanish league, with the defending champion only escaping defeat thanks to a bizarre own-goal by a Villarreal defender in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time on Sunday.

Aissa Mandi tried to head the ball back toward his area but goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli wasn't expecting it and the ball slowly rolled past him. Villarreal players dropped to the ground in despair as the ball trickled across the goal line to seal a 2-2 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Suárez scored in his first start of the season but Atlético couldn't take advantage of its chance to become the only team with three straight victories at the start of the season. Sevilla also entered the weekend with two wins but was held to a 1-1 draw at Elche on Saturday.

The result extended Villarreal's winless streak against Atlético to seven league matches.

Atlético was in control during most of the match but struggled to keep the visitors from threatening in counterattacks.

Villarreal opened the scoring with Manu Triguero's shot into the top corner in the 52nd before Suárez equalized four minutes later from inside the area after being set up by Ángel Correa, who had three goals in his first two matches.

Suárez had come off the bench in Atlético's first two matches while recovering form following preseason.

Arnaut Danjuma had put Villarreal ahead in the 74th after a defensive blunder by the Atlético defense as Kieran Trippier and Stefan Savic got mixed up while going for a ball near the area.

Atlético coach Diego Simeone had time to send on Matheus Cunha, the Brazilian forward recently signed from Hertha Berlin.


Memphis Depay continued his good run with Barcelona, scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Getafe.

It was Depay's second league goal for Barcelona, which has won two of its first three matches in its first season without Lionel Messi in nearly two decades.

Messi later Sunday came off the bench in the second half to make his debut with Paris Saint-Germain after the Catalan club failed to give him a new contract because of its financial struggles.

Depay, Barcelona's biggest offseason signing, had also scored in the team's 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao last weekend. He found the net Sunday after a neat move in front of a defender inside the area, sending a low shot inside the near post in the 30th minute.

Sergi Roberto had opened the scoring two minutes into the match at the Camp Nou Stadium after a cross by Jordi Alba.

“We were coming off a draw so we needed the win no matter what ahead of the international break,” said Roberto, who had also scored in Barcelona's 4-2 win against Real Sociedad in the opener. “It was a difficult match but we came through with the victory.”

Getafe, which has lost three straight to start the league, equalized with a shot from Sandro Ramírez in the 18th. It was Getafe's first league goal of the season.

"It's been a tough start to the season for us but we have to keep working hard to try to recover," said Ramírez, a former Barcelona player.

Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite, who scored twice in the opener against Sociedad, had a goal disallowed for offside near the end of the match.

Depay nearly added his second from close range in the 85th, but sent the ball over the crossbar.

More than 26,000 fans were allowed at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona was without veteran defender Gerard Piqué because of a muscle injury.

The Catalan club has seven points, the same as rival Real Madrid which won 1-0 at Real Betis on Saturday. Sevilla, Valencia and Mallorca also have seven points.


Promoted Rayo Vallecano won for the first time since its return by routing Granada 4-0.

Cádiz missed a chance to end its own winless streak by allowing Osasuna to rally to a 3-2 victory after conceding twice in injury time.


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Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

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