Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid were unable to find a late winner, as they slipped to a frustrating 1-1 draw away at Espanyol.
Los Rojiblancos move above Real Sociedad, up into fourth place in La Liga, but Simeone is likely to be disappointed to not to pick up all three points at the RCDE Stadium.
Both sides had chances to score in the opening stages, as Saul Niguez brought a sharp stop from Diego Lopez, and Wu Lei tested Jan Oblak at the other end.
The hosts did find a breakthrough on 27 minutes, albeit in fortunate circumstances in Catalonia.
Lei’s whipped cross into the box was intended for Raul de Tomas, but his mishit effort was diverted past Oblak by the unlucky Stefan Savic.
The Slovenian international was called into action twice more to keep Atletico in game, with an outstanding save from former Rayo Vallecano midfielder Adri Embarba just before the break.
Simeone sent his side out in determined mood after the break, and Niguez volleyed them level on 48 minutes, after Koke’s corner was only half cleared.
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The visitors looked to pile the pressure on from there, as Alvaro Morata’s close range effort hit the post.
Abelardo’s side almost snatched a late winner in added time, but Oblak was on hand again, to tip away Bernardo Espinosa’s header.