Atletico Madrid returned to the top of LaLiga with a 1-1 draw away to Real Betis on Sunday but did so at the expense of losing yet more players to injury, leaving their title hopes hanging by a thread, AFP reports.
Diego Simeone’s side got off to an ideal start when Yannick Carrasco dribbled into an empty net in the fifth minute thanks to a lucky bounce but Betis levelled with a thumping volley from Cristian Tello in the 20th.
Atletico then lost record signing Joao Felix plus right back Kieran Trippier to injury in the second half, adding to an absentee list also containing Luis Suarez, Thomas Lemar and latest signing Moussa Dembele.
They were fortunate to avoid conceding again as Betis dominated the second half and missed several chances to take the lead.
Yet Atletico were not far from snatching a winner, striker Angel Correa forcing two fine saves from Claudio Bravo in stoppage time.
Atletico returned to the summit on 67 points, one ahead of Real Madrid and two clear of Barcelona with eight games remaining.
“We made an excellent start but when there was little danger they managed to score. We kept trying and we’ve dropped two points but we’re still top and our fate is in our own hands,” said Atletico captain Koke.
Atletico were missing their two top scorers in Suarez and Marcos Llorente through suspension while they faced a new setback hours before kick off when winger Thomas Lemar was left out of the matchday squad with a muscle injury.