MADRID (AP) — Another setback, another round of boos for Atlético Madrid.
Atlético's fans appear to be running out of patience with Diego Simeone's team and expressed their disapproval after a 1-1 home draw against 10-man Espanyol in the Spanish league on Sunday, a result that extended Atlético's winless streak to four matches in all competitions.
João Félix came off the bench to salvage the draw with a 78th-minute equalizer after the visitors had opened the scoring through Sergi Darder in the 62nd. Espanyol played a man down from the 28th after defender Leandro Cabrera was sent off with a straight red card for a foul on Atlético forward Álvaro Morata.
Atlético pressed until the end but couldn't capitalize on its chances, prompting many of the fans at the Metropolitano Stadium to jeer after the final whistle.
“The reaction from the fans is understandable, no one is happy,” Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak said. “Until we start doing well on the field again, things won't get better.”
The draw came after Atlético lost at Porto in the Champions League to finish last in its group and miss out on the Europa League playoffs for the first time. It was only the second time in 10 seasons that Simeone's team failed to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Atlético was coming off a loss at relegation-threatened Cádiz in the previous round in the Spanish league, and had drawn against Bayern Leverkusen at home to be eliminated from the Champions League with a round left in the group stage.
“We tried everything to get the victory but nothing is going our way right now. We are disappointed, we deserved more than a draw,” Oblak said. “It's clear that psychologically we are not in a good place. It's not normal what we are going through, but when psychologically you are not well, the body doesn't work as it should work.”
The draw with Espanyol left Atlético 10 points behind league leader Barcelona — which defeated Almería 2-0 at home on Saturday — and eight points behind Real Madrid, which visits Rayo Vallecano on Monday.
Atlético can drop out of third place depending on the result of the Seville derby between fourth-place Real Betis and Sevilla later on Sunday. Betis is one point behind Atlético.
“At some point, and hopefully soon, we will turn things around and start winning again,” Atlético defender José María Giménez said.
Espanyol stayed in 16th place, one point clear of the relegation zone. It is winless in four consecutive league matches.
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Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press