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Atletico Madrid, Espanyol play goalless draw in La Liga

Madrid: A match that had seemed promising for Atletico Madrid ended in pure disappointment as they played out a goalless draw with an impenetrable Espanyol squad at the Vicente Calderon Stadium here.

The draw was super frustrating on a day when Atletico could have notched up some valuable ground in La Liga — none of the three teams ahead of it won their matches either on Saturday, reports Efe.

Real Madrid and Barcelona fought to a tie at Camp Nou, and Seville was defeated in Granada.

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But Espanyol deserved some praise as the squad came to the match with a seven-game winning streak, and proved practically impenetrable to Atletico strikers. In fact, they had few good chances to score throughout the match.

Espanyol had the best chance for a goal just before the break with a swift counterattack — something to which Atletico has seemed vulnerable lately — but in a duel with Espanyol striker Gerard Moreno at 42nd minute, the Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak was the winner.

In the second half the visitors still seemed listless — neither Griezmann nor Cameiro nor Carrasco could penetrate the rival squad, which seemed better in every aspect of play.

Espanyol attacked infrequently but seemed close to scoring when Leo Baptistao went one-on-one with Oblak, but the Slovenian came through for his beleaguered team once more with a spectacular save at about the hour mark to share the points.

IANS