Newcomers Girona were denied a memorable three points in the club's first-ever appearance in La Liga this evening, as Pablo Machin's charges were held to a 2-2 draw with a 10-man Atletico Madrid side at the Estadi Montilivi.
The league's new boys started the contest with a real intensity to their pressing and they almost went ahead after only nine minutes, only for Jose Gimenez to spare the visitors' blushes.
Atletico appeared off the boil in the opening half and they were made to pay for a lack of application in the 23rd minute, as Christian Stuani leapt highest inside the area in order to head an Alex Granell Nogue cross beyond Jan Oblak.
Madrid's lack of organisation was to prove costly again just a few minutes later, this time as Stuani reacted quickest to a bouncing ball in the box, leaving the frontman to convert another header beyond the bemused Atletico stopper.
Such was Madrid's inefficiency in the opening half, it took the best part of 35 minutes for Diego Simeone's men to register a shot on goal, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco shooting straight at Gorka Iraizoz.
Madrid were slightly improved after the break and a piece of individual brilliance from Antoine Griezmann almost brought the visitors back into the contest, but the frontman saw his reactionary bicycle kick fly just wide of the far post.
Atletico's chances of finding a route back into the contest were seemingly all but removed in the 68th minute, however, as Griezmann was first booked for a supposed dive inside the area, before then being given another booking and sent off for dissent by referee Juan Martinez Munuera.
Substitute Angel Correa handed Atleti a lifeline with a memorable strike with 10 minutes to play, leaving Girona with an agonising wait as they sought to hold out for a memorable win during their inaugural bow in the Spanish top flight.
In the end it was not to be, though, as Madrid completed a remarkable comeback through Jose Gimenez, who had the beating of stopper Iraizoz in the air before heading into an empty net with five minutes to go.