Villarreal shock for Atletico

Atletico Madrid squandered a chance to draw level on points with second-placed Barcelona when the champions slipped to a surprise 1-0 reverse at home to Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday.

Atletico dominated possession in a scrappy game but failed to convert what few openings they created and were undone when Villarreal forward Luciano Vietto cut inside his marker and drilled a shot past Miguel Angel Moya six minutes from time.

It was Atletico's first defeat in La Liga at their Calderon stadium since they were beaten
by Barca in May 2013.

"Unfortunately they were more efficient in front of goal," Atletico captain Gabi said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.
"We are angry with the defeat but we have to carry on and think about the next game," he added.

"Villarreal played very well but we also gave a good account of ourselves."
Real Madrid were the big winners in the 15th round of matches after Barca and fourth-placed Sevilla both drew and Real stretched their lead at the top to four points thanks to Friday's 4-1 success at Almeria.

Atletico forward Mario Mandzukic came close to breaking the deadlock against a well-organised Villarreal side when he drew a fine save from goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo with a close-range effort in the 56th minute.

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