Spanish La Liga
LevanteLevante2Atl MadridAtlético Madrid0
By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Atletico Madrid lose at Levante

Atletico Madrid's bid to win La Liga for the first time since 1996 took a blow as Levante beat them to give Real Madrid and Barcelona renewed hope.

The Champions League finalists trailed after just seven minutes, when left-back Felipe Luis deflected in Levante midfielder Pape Diop's corner.

Atletico improved after the break but their defeat was sealed when David Barral coolly struck from eight yards.

Atletico stay top and need four more points to win the title.

But their lethargic loss at mid-table Levante has the potential to throw the three-way title race open once again.

La Liga title run-in
Atletico MadridReal MadridBarcelona
7 MayValladolid (A)
10-11 MayMalaga (H)Celta Vigo (A)Elche (A)
18 MayBarcelona (A)Espanyol (H)Atl. Madrid (H)

Atletico know they cannot be caught by either Real Madrid or Barcelona if they earn at least a win and a draw from their final two matches. They host Malaga next weekend before going to Barca's Nou Camp on the final day.

Third-placed Real, who drew 2-2 against Valencia later on Sunday, are five points behind Atletico but have a game in hand, although Atletico would be crowned champions if the teams finish level on points given their superior head-to-head record.

Barcelona, who are second, are three points adrift of the leaders, with both sides having played 36 matches. The Catalan club could pip Atletico on their head-to-head record if they beat Diego Simeone's men on 18 May.

Atletico, who will meet city rivals Real in the Champions League final, lacked their usual spark and energy as Levante frustrated them from the first whistle.

The Valencia-based side took an early lead when Filipe Luis diverted Diop's set-piece out of Atletico keeper Thibaut Courtois's reach and into the bottom corner.

Simeone made a double substitution at half-time, introducing winger Ardan Turan and forward Adrian, as he attempted to inject some life into his side.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa
Diego Costa has scored 27 La Liga goals for Atletico this season, but could not find a way past Levante

His players responded with a much-improved display in the opening exchanges of the second half.

Turan was the main threat as Atletico upped the tempo, seeing two low shots blocked and sending an eight-yard header over.

Top scorer Diego Costa had few clear-cut opportunities, but the Spain international was inches away from connecting with substitute Diego's in-swinging free-kick at the far post.

Atletico continued to press as they sensed a vital breakthrough, but were denied again when Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas acrobatically clawed away right-back Toby Alderweireld's long-range effort.

Levante were carrying little threat, but punished Atletico's profligacy midway through the second half.

Ex-Real Madrid youngster Barral neatly controlled Victor's left-wing cross before firing past Courtois to revitalise his former club's title hopes.

Line-ups

Levante

  • 1Navas
  • 19López Muñoz
  • 12García García
  • 24Mate JuniorBooked at 72mins
  • 4Navarro
  • 6Vyntra
  • 11García SantosSubstituted forda Silva Pintoat 72'minutes
  • 23Diop
  • 7BarralBooked at 60minsSubstituted forRodríguez Díazat 80'minutes
  • 3Casadesús Castaño
  • 22SissokoSubstituted forIvanschitzat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Rodas
  • 9Rodríguez Díaz
  • 13Jiménez Camarero
  • 15Karabelas
  • 17Xumetra
  • 18da Silva Pinto
  • 21Ivanschitz

Atl Madrid

  • 13Courtois
  • 12Alderweireld
  • 3Filipe Luís
  • 14Fernández Arenas
  • 23Miranda
  • 2GodínBooked at 76mins
  • 8Garcia EscuderoSubstituted forTuranat 45'minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 5Cardoso MendesBooked at 54mins
  • 9VillaSubstituted forLópez Álvarezat 45'minutes
  • 19Diego Costa
  • 6KokeSubstituted forRibas da Cunhaat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Aranzubia
  • 4Suárez
  • 7López Álvarez
  • 10Turan
  • 18Giménez
  • 21Ribas da Cunha
  • 22Insúa
Referee:
José Luis González González
Attendance:
22,156

Match Stats

Home TeamLevanteAway TeamAtl Madrid
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home7
Away23
Shots on Target
Home2
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home20
Away20

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Levante 2, Atlético de Madrid 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Levante 2, Atlético de Madrid 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Levante. Conceded by Miranda.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Andreas Ivanschitz (Levante) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pape Diop.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Tiago (Atlético de Madrid).

  6. Post update

    Pedro López (Levante) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sergio Pinto (Levante) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Andreas Ivanschitz.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Diego (Atlético de Madrid) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adrián.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Arda Turan (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Miranda.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Miranda (Atlético de Madrid) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Arda Turan with a cross.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid).

  12. Post update

    David Navarro (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Levante. Sergio Pinto tries a through ball, but Ángel is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tiago (Atlético de Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Diego (Atlético de Madrid).

  16. Post update

    Pedro López (Levante) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adrián (Atlético de Madrid) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Gabi with a cross following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Juanfran.

  19. Post update

    Diego (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Víctor (Levante).

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