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May 10, 2015 at 11am UK at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia
Levante
2-2
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Barral (32'), Uche (63')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Siqueira (35'), Torres (80')

Match Analysis: Levante 2-2 Atletico Madrid

Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action as Levante hold Atletico Madrid to a 2-2 draw in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid twice came from behind to claim a point in a 2-2 draw with Levante on Sunday.

David Barral opened the scoring for the home side in the 32nd minute, but Guilherme Siqueira levelled the scores for the visitors less than three minutes later.

Levante were again ahead after 63 minutes through Kalu Uche, but Fernando Torres responded 10 minutes from time to ensure that Atletico remained unbeaten for a 13th straight league match.

As it stands, this round of La Liga fixtures are the only confirmed matches in Spain's top flight before the end of the season. All Spanish football competitions will be suspended on May 16 amid a strike that relates to TV rights. The Spanish Football Federation are in a disagreement with the government, but there is hope that the situation will be rectified over the next week.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action in Valencia.

Match statistics

LEVANTE
Shots: 8
On target: 5
Possession: 37%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 8

ATLETICO
Shots: 15
On target: 7
Possession: 63%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 16

Was the result fair?

Atletico would have fancied their chances of claiming all three points in Valencia, but Atleti boss Diego Simeone entered the match having not tasted victory away to Levante in the league, which indicated that all three points would be difficult. One look at the statistics will demonstrate that Atletico had seven more attempts than Levante, but it is difficult to say that Atletico were in control of the match for any sustained spell. Both sides had chances in what was an end-to-end opening 30 minutes, but it was Levante that struck first in the 32nd minute when Barral finished from close range. In fairness to Atletico, their response was extremely good and when Siqueira levelled the scores in the 35th minute, they were very much in control.

The visitors never really pushed on in the second period, however, which certainly gave Levante confidence. Victory for the home side would have secured their La Liga status for next season and they again took the lead just past the hour when Uche converted from close range. Once again, however, the response from Atletico was strong and they eventually levelled through substitute Torres 10 minutes from time. As expected, it was the visitors pushing for the game's fifth goal late on, but when reviewing what actually occurred during the 90 minutes, a score draw is a fair reflection of the events in Valencia.

Levante's performance

Levante boss Lucas Alcaraz once again selected a five-man defence, but it was far from a negative set-up, with wing-backs Tono and Ivan Lopez heavily advanced. Alcaraz also selected Uche and Barral in attack, while Victor Camarasa and Jose Luis Morales were given licence to break forward when the opportunity arose. The hosts had to rely on some excellent goalkeeping from Diego Marino to keep Mario Mandzukic out in the 10th minute, while Morales had a super chance down the other end in the 22nd minute, but the midfielder could not release a strike before Juanfran made a last-ditch challenge. Wing-back Lopez was involved in both of his side's goals and the defender set up the first when he fed Barral at the far post to hand Levante the lead. As mentioned, Atletico did well to respond, but the Levante defending for Atleti's equaliser was extremely poor. The hosts just never cleared their lines following a spell of pressure and Siqueira, who had stayed forward, volleyed into the bottom corner.

Uche had a brilliant chance to regain the lead for Levante in the 54th minute when he met a super cross from Tono, but the Nigerian could only head into the arms of Jan Oblak. Uche was not to be denied less than 10 minutes later, however, when he converted from close range to send Levante 2-1 ahead. A third at that stage would surely have killed off Atletico, but the hosts dropped deep in the latter stages and were punished from a set piece, with Torres heading a Koke corner past Marino. As it stands, Levante are five points clear of the bottom three and it would take an extreme situation for relegation to occur. Not recording all three points against Atletico will have been disappointing, but they can be very pleased with a well-earned point.

Atletico's performance

Atletico were without the suspended Diego Godin for their trip to Valencia, but otherwise, Simeone had a full complement of players to choose from. The Spanish champions started quite well and should have taken the lead in the 10th minute when Siqueira delivered a super cross onto the head of Mandzukic, but the Croatian brought a fine save from Marino, before Arda Turan was also denied from the rebound. Without Godin, however, Atletico did look a little suspect at the back and poor defending contributed to the game's first goal, with Lopez allowed time and space to pick out Barral, who could not miss from close range. The visitors must be credited for their strong response and it was Siqueira that levelled the scores in the 35th minute. From that point, it did appear that the capital side would go on and take control, but that just never really transpired in the second 45 minutes, which will be a major disappointment for Simeone.

If Atletico had scored the game's third goal, then it would have been very difficult for Levante to respond. However, Uche's strike just past the hour meant that Simeone's side again had to come from behind. It is not as if Atletico created a bundle of chances as the second period developed, but they were on the front foot and deserved to level through Torres, who was a threat when he entered the field. Jose Gimenez had the chance to score a third for Atletico in the 84th minute, but once again Marino was on hand to make a super save. Overall, a point is not the worst result for the Madrid outfit, who have put together a 13-game unbeaten run in Spain's top flight, but they are far from secure of third position, with Valencia on their coat-tails.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Ivan Lopez: By trade, the 21-year-old is a right-back, but he thrived in a wing-back role against Atletico. The Spaniard set up both of his team's goals with excellent work in wide positions, while he was always on hand to perform his defensive duties. It was a very mature and confident display from the youngster.

Biggest gaffe

It is difficult to be too critical of Levante following a strong performance, but their defending for Atletico's first was extremely poor. The hosts had ample opportunities to clear their lines inside the box, but a host of poor passes led to Tiago finding Siqueira, who finished into the bottom corner. Mistakes of that magnitude are usually punished at this level of football.

Referee performance

It was a straight-forward afternoon for referee Alejandro Hernandez. The Spaniard only issued four yellow cards and there were not really any major incidents in terms of penalty incidents or the like. The fact that the game was so open and entertaining was partly down to the referee, who allowed events to flow.

What next?

Levante: Should the strike be rectified this week, Levante will travel to struggling Deportivo La Coruna next Sunday.

Atletico: As it stands, the Spanish champions have no confirmed matches, but they are due to welcome Barcelona to Madrid next Sunday.

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Atletico Madrid's Brazilian defender Guilherme Siqueira celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match Levante UD vs Club Atletico de Madrid at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium in Valencia on May 10, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid65102181316
2Atletico MadridAtletico642095414
3Sevilla532082611
4Valencia6312117410
5Rayo Vallecano6312106410
6Real Sociedad531164210
7Athletic Bilbao62315329
8Barcelona42208538
9Osasuna52216608
10Mallorca622249-58
11Villarreal51406337
12Real Betis51316606
13Espanyol613245-16
14ElcheElche613247-36
15CadizCadiz512268-25
16Levante604269-34
17Celta Vigo6114610-44
18Granada503238-53
19Getafe6006210-80
20AlavesAlaves5005111-100

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