MADRID (AP) — Ousmane Dembele scored a late equalizer for Barcelona to draw with Atletico Madrid 1-1 on Saturday, extending its unbeaten run against the Madrid club to 17 Spanish league matches.
The result also kept Barcelona in the lead, one point in front of Atletico.
Sevilla has a chance to move past both clubs if it defeats Valladolid at home on Sunday.
Diego Costa put the hosts in front with a 77th-minute header for his first league goal of the season, but Dembele ended Atletico’s hopes of ending its eight-year winless streak against Barcelona with a goal from inside the area in the 90th after a pass by Lionel Messi.
Atletico has only two wins against Barcelona in 27 matches, both in the Champions League, with the last one in 2016. Atletico hasn’t beaten the Catalan club in the league since 2010, before coach Diego Simeone took charge.
Barcelona was coming off a 4-3 home loss against Real Betis and entered the match with one of the league’s worst defenses with 18 goals conceded.
It was an even match from the start, with Barcelona trying to control possession while Atletico held back on defense and tried to take advantage of counterattacks.
Neither team created significant scoring chances at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium until Costa opened the scoring with a close-range header on a corner taken by Antoine Griezmann. Dembele’s equalizer came with a low left-footed shot past goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Dembele had entered the match in the 80th to replace Arthur.
Messi, in his second match since returning from a broken forearm, set up Dembele’s goal but he had not been much of a factor until then.
Barcelona featured the return of central defender Samuel Umtiti, who hadn’t played since the end of September because of a left knee injury. Coach Ernesto Valverde lost midfielder Sergi Roberto just before halftime because of an injury.
Atletico was without its regular starters in central defense as Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez were injured.
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