Bizarre own-goal saves Atletico from Spanish league defeat

Atletico Madrid's Matheus Cunha, center, celebrates Marcos Llorente's goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Villarreal at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. (Andrea Comas/AP)

MADRID -- Luis Suarez's first goal of the season wasn't enough for Atletico Madrid to extend its perfect record in the Spanish league, with the defending champion only escaping defeat thanks to a bizarre own-goal by a Villarreal defender in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time on Sunday.

Aissa Mandi tried to head the ball back toward his area but goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli wasn't expecting it and the ball slowly rolled past him. Villarreal players dropped to the ground in despair as the ball trickled across the goal line to seal a 2-2 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Suarez scored in his first start of the season but Atletico couldn't take advantage of its chance to become the only team with three straight victories at the start of the season. Sevilla also entered the weekend with two wins but was held to a 1-1 draw at Elche on Saturday.

The result extended Villarreal's winless streak against Atletico to seven league matches.

Atletico was in control during most of the match but struggled to keep the visitors from threatening in counterattacks.

Villarreal opened the scoring with Manu Triguero's shot into the top corner in the 52nd before Suarez equalized four minutes later from inside the area after being set up by Angel Correa, who had three goals in his first two matches.

Suarez had come off the bench in Atletico's first two matches while recovering form following preseason.

Arnaut Danjuma had put Villarreal ahead in the 74th after a defensive blunder by the Atletico defence as Kieran Trippier and Stefan Savic got mixed up while going for a ball near the area.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone had time to send on Matheus Cunha, the Brazilian forward recently signed from Hertha Berlin.


Memphis Depay continued his good run with Barcelona, scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Getafe.

It was Depay's second league goal for Barcelona, which has won two of its first three matches in its first season without Lionel Messi in nearly two decades.

Messi later Sunday came off the bench in the second half to make his debut with Paris Saint-Germain after the Catalan club failed to give him a new contract because of its financial struggles.

Depay, Barcelona's biggest offseason signing, had also scored in the team's 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao last weekend. He found the net Sunday after a neat move in front of a defender inside the area, sending a low shot inside the near post in the 30th minute.

Sergi Roberto had opened the scoring two minutes into the match at the Camp Nou Stadium after a cross by Jordi Alba.

"We were coming off a draw so we needed the win no matter what ahead of the international break," said Roberto, who had also scored in Barcelona's 4-2 win against Real Sociedad in the opener. "It was a difficult match but we came through with the victory."

Getafe, which has lost three straight to start the league, equalized with a shot from Sandro Ramirez in the 18th. It was Getafe's first league goal of the season.

"It's been a tough start to the season for us but we have to keep working hard to try to recover," said Ramirez, a former Barcelona player.

Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite, who scored twice in the opener against Sociedad, had a goal disallowed for offside near the end of the match.

Depay nearly added his second from close range in the 85th, but sent the ball over the crossbar.

More than 26,000 fans were allowed at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona was without veteran defender Gerard Pique because of a muscle injury.

The Catalan club has seven points, the same as rival Real Madrid which won 1-0 at Real Betis on Saturday. Sevilla, Valencia and Mallorca also have seven points.


Promoted Rayo Vallecano won for the first time since its return by routing Granada 4-0.

Cadiz missed a chance to end its own winless streak by allowing Osasuna to rally to a 3-2 victory after conceding twice in injury time.

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.
We use cookies to improve your experience. Learn More or change your cookie preferences. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.