Berlin (dpa) – Spanish soccer champions Real Madrid did not go beyond a draw against Villarreal and therefore missed the direct connection to the top of the Primera División table.
After a quick lead from Mariano Díaz in the second minute, the Madrid team and international Toni Kroos conceded Gerard Moreno’s 1-1 penalty (76th) in the second half.
It was another bitter evening for the eternal competitor of FC Barcelona and his goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen. The German national goalkeeper made a serious mistake, which led to the goal in the 0-1 defeat at Atlético Madrid.
He had rushed away from his goal after a ball from the hosts in the Catalans’ half of the field to clear. However, around 40 yards from his goal he failed to retrieve the ball, but Ter Stegen was dug out by Yannick Carrasco before the Madrid pro slipped into the empty goal. But that’s not all for Barcelona: after the break veteran Gerard Piqué had to be replaced, possibly more seriously injured.
With the victory, Atletico drew with leaders Real Sociedad San Sebastian (20), but were even one game less. Real Madrid are three points less, while FC Barcelona are already nine points behind the leaders.