Atletico Madrid fought back from two goals down to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw with Levante in their final La Liga game of the campaign at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Saturday.
Atletico made a lively start to the game as Thomas Lemar and Filipe Luis forced early saves from Jorge Ruiz Ojeda, but Levante stunned the visitors against the run of play as they took a shock lead just six minutes into the clash, as Erick Cabaco converted from close range.
Diego Simeone's side continued to look lively in search of an equaliser, but Levante capitalised once more on a lack of efficiency in front of goal from Los Rojiblancos. Against the tide, Roger Matri produced a clinical finish just after the half an hour mark to leave Atletico shell-shocked.
The visitors' hopes of a second-half fightback were dealt a huge blow just five minutes after the interval, as Angel Correa was shown a red card for violent conduct after a VAR review, but Los Rojiblancos responded by pulling one back through Rodri with 20 minutes remaining.
Against seemingly all odds, Atletico continued to stage an unlikely comeback and drew level through a well-taken finish from substitute Sergio Camello on his debut. Roger Marti nearly snatched victory for the hosts as he hit the bar late on, but Los Rojiblancos held on to secure the draw.
Starting XI: Ruiz Ojeda (6); Cabaco (7), Vezo (6), Chema (7); Lopez (6), Rochina (4), Campana (7), Bardhi (7*), Luna (6); Roger (7), Dwamena (6)
Substitutes: Manzanara (6), Simon (5), Morales (5)
Key Talking Point
On the back of Diego Godin's farewell match at the Wanda Metropolitano last time out in a 1-1 draw with Sevilla, another impending high-profile departure dominated the build-up to Altetico's final La Liga game of the season.
Antoine Griezmann's high-profile announcement in midweek that he would be leaving Los Rojiblancos in the summer ensured that Saturday's game at the Estadi Ciutat de Valencia would have another farewell atmosphere from an Atletico perspective.
This has been the story all season, it’s been very inconsistent in all competitions. More passing, possession, shots etc but no clinical finish! — TYM4(Zebra) (@EDJ147180) May 18, 2019
Both Godin and Griezmann started the clash in which Simeone was forced to field a side which fell some way short of full-strength, with the likes of Jan Oblak, Jose Maria Gimenez, Saul Niguez and Alvaro Morata all absent from the match day squad.
The result of those circumstances was a largely underwhelming display which epitomised what has been a disappointingly lukewarm climax to a generally positive season for Altetico. A second-place finish in the league this term is respectable, but Simone's side have a huge summer of transition ahead.
Starting XI: Adan (5); Juanfran (5), Godin (5), Montero (4), Filipe Luis (5); Lemar (6), Thomas (4), Hernandez (6), Koke (6); Correa (4), Griezmann (6)
Substitutes: Camello (6), Vitolo (5), Mollejo (5)
STAR MAN - In what was a performance of disappointingly low quality from Atletico, it was Rodri who produced the game's finest moment with a stunning left-footed strike from outside the box to find the top corner and give his side hope in the game.
The strike was one of real quality and inspired his side to battle on to earn an unlikely draw, as Rodri demonstrated why he is attracting strong interest from Manchester City.
With the La Liga season now over, Diego Simeone's side will face Beitar Jerusalem next time out in a pre-season friendly clash at the Teddy Stadium in Israel.