Sports

Suarez Earns Barca Point At Atletico, Ronaldo Rescues Real

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| October 15 , 2017 , 16:48 IST

Luis Suarez saved Barcelona's unbeaten La Liga record this season by salvaging a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid in a match laced with political tension amid Catalonia's drive for independence. 

Saul Niguez's spectacular strike had given Atletico an early advantage. 

However, Barca's dominance for large spells paid off when Suarez finally got the better of the outstanding Jan Oblak to level nine minutes from time. 

"Everyone knows Atletico defend very well and have a great goalkeeper, but we did enough to believe we deserved more in the second half," said Suarez on Saturday. 

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A share of the points allows Real Madrid to move up to second, five points behind Barca, as Cristiano Ronaldo struck an 85th-minute winner -- his first league goal of the season -- to grind out a hard-fought 2-1 win for the European champions at Getafe. 

Atletico moves up to third but remain six points behind the leaders. 

"It was a great game between two teams with very different characteristics," said Atletico boss Diego Simeone. 

A backdrop of Spanish flags and chants of "Viva Espana" (long live Spain) met Barca on their first visit to the Spanish capital since a Catalan independence referendum marred by violence and deemed illegal by the Spanish government on October 1. 

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However, both managers lauded the atmosphere. 

"The stadium was marvellous," added Simeone. 

"I loved the stadium, the fans, (jeers for the opposition) are normal, but it was a great night of football for everyone," said Barca boss Ernesto Valverde. 

The 68,000 crowd at Atletico's new Wanda Metropolitano were nearly silenced inside 30 seconds by Lionel Messi. 

The five-time world player of the year rescued Argentina's floundering World Cup qualifying campaign with a stunning hat-trick in the altitude of Quito, Ecuador on Tuesday to ensure his presence at next year's showpiece in Russia.