REUTERS – Atletico Madrid substitute Luciano Vietto struck late to rescue a 1-1 La Liga draw against Real Madrid in the Madrid Derby on Sunday, while Cristiano Ronaldo will have to wait to set a new club scoring record.
Vietto slotted the ball home with seven minutes to go after Karim Benzema had given visitors Real the lead early on.
The Frenchman continued his hot streak in front of goal by nodding home a Daniel Carvajal cross after nine minutes, his seventh of the campaign.
Real defender Sergio Ramos brought down Tiago Cardosa for a penalty after 21 minutes but Antoine Griezmann’s effort was well saved by Keylor Navas.
The stage was set for Ronaldo to break Real’s scoring record against their city rivals but the Portuguese had a quiet match and remains level with Raul on 323 goals.
Real are second in the table, level with Celta Vigo and Barcelona on 15 points from seven games. Atletico are fifth with 13 points.
“It was important for us to rescue a point. We did enough to win but it didn’t happen,” Vietto told reporters.
“It was a big game and more so because it was a derby. There was obvious tension and nerves can cause you problems.
“We corrected the mistakes we made and we played well in the second half.”
Earlier leaders Villarreal, on 16 points, had a man sent off and crashed 1-0 away to struggling Levante with Deyverson hitting the only goal.
Deyverson volleyed home a cross from Nabil Ghilas after 82 minutes to drag Levante off the bottom of the table.
Villarreal fullback Bojan Jokic was given a second yellow card after 35 minutes for a reckless challenge on Ivan Lopez who went off injured.
Aritz Aduriz scored one goal and set up another for Athletic Bilbao in a 3-1 win over misfiring Valencia.
Hosts Bilbao had the better of the play but had to come from behind after Dani Parejo gave Valencia a surprise lead with a precision free kick after 19 minutes.
Aymeric Laporte headed home from close range following a corner after 33 minutes and then on the hour Aduriz found Markel Susaeta to slot in.
Aduriz wrapped up the win with a clinical finish after being played in by Raul Garcia with 68 minutes gone.
Despite plenty of investment, Valencia lie ninth on nine points while Athletic, who have also made a below par start to the season, are 13th with seven points.
Gareth Bale was only fit for the bench for Real but Ramos was able to return in defence.
Atletico have been lacking the solidity that has characterised them in recent seasons and they gave far too much space to Benzema who took full advantage to put Real ahead.
Despite expensive reinforcements brought in by Atletico, Angel Correa has forced his way into the attack and in his first league start, he went close with two early strikes.
Sloppy defending by Ramos saw him fell Tiago for a penalty but Navas dived low to push away Griezmann’s spotkick.
Real coach Rafa Benitez put Carlos Casemiro in midfield rather than go for a more attacking option and the tactic helped them take control in the run up to halftime.
Atletico pushed forward more after the break but it was only in the closing stages that they created real pressure.
Vietto slotted home a Jackson Martinez cross that had been touched on by Griezmann and in injury time Navas denied Martinez a winner with a fine parry.
(By Tim Hanlon, Editing by Mark Meadows)