La Liga round-up: Atletico Madrid rescue draw against Eibar
Last Updated: 15/09/18 10:50pm
Atletico Madrid's stumbling start in La Liga took a turn for the worse on Saturday as a late equaliser from Borja Garces was only enough to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Eibar.
Eibar appeared to have snatched a shock victory when Sergi Enrich finished in the 87th minute, only for Borja to salvage Atletico a point with virtually the last kick of the game.
But there were no celebrations at the final whistle. Atletico were considered serious title challengers this season but another two points dropped means they have now taken only five from their first four games.
Victory here was much-needed and, despite a strong line-up that included summer signings Thomas Lemar and Rodrigo, Atleti have now recorded their worst league start since 2009.
Eibar could have taken the lead when a sizzling half-volley from Cote grazed the crossbar in the opening five minutes but that was close as they came in the first half, which was largely an impressive showreel of Atletico misses.
Antoine Griezmann was guiltiest, first seeing a shot saved by Marko Dmitrovic with his feet and then failing to tee up Diego Costa when he would have been better finishing himself.
Saul, Diego Godin and Costa were all too imprecise to beat the imperious Dmitrovic but Koke had no excuse when he too feathered wide from six yards shortly after half-time.
After yet another missed pass, Lemar was replaced by Angel Correa but as Atletico became frantic, Eibar could have capitalised, Anaitz Arbilla's drive again clipping the crossbar on its way over. It seemed the game could even end in defeat for Atletico when the ball landed perfectly for Enrich to smash in for Eibar from two yards.
Borja, however, spared some of Atletico's blushes with a superb shot into the corner deep into injury-time but the roar from the crowd was short-lived.
Valencia and Real Betis played out a goalless draw at the Mestalla which leaves the hosts still searching for a first win of the season.
Valencia finished the league in fourth last season to make a long-awaited return to the Champions League, which it starts by hosting Juventus on Wednesday.