RCD Espanyol earned a 1-1 draw away to Atlético de Madrid on Sunday.
For the trip to the Cívitas Metropolitano, Diego Martínez made three changes from last time out. Fernando Calero slotted into the back four, with Keidi Bare and Aleix Vidal coming into the starting XI for the first of three matches in six days.
Espanyol had the first decent chance when Aleix Vidal picked up the ball on the halfway line, though Joselu could only hit it straight at the goalkeeper. Atlético were finding themselves in front of goal but unable to find a clear-cut path to goal.
The match was turned on its head in the 28th minute, when Leandro Cabrera was controversially sent off for a tussle with Álvaro Morata where he was deemed to be the last man. Espanyol were forced into an early change to restore the defensive back four, having to play over an hour with 10 men.
Atléti had the better chances towards the end of the first half, as Marcos Llorente fired his shot well over the bar. Benjamin Lecomte made a solid save at the near post, albeit from an offside Morata to keep it goalless at half-time.
Into the second half, Ángel Correa weaved his way through but was denied by a superb near-post save by former teammate Lecomte. Sergi Gómez then had a golden chance up the other end, but his header flew just over the bar.
Espanyol finally found the breakthrough and through a stunning combination inside the box. Joselu won his aerial duel and headed it towards goal, where Sergi Darder was at the far post to volley it into the back of the net and put the pericos in front.
The visitors were comfortable and even pushing for another goal, though Atlético looked to their bench for an answer. They equalised through substitute João Félix, who collected the ball out wide and drilled it hard and low into the bottom corner.
Félix was not done and Lecomte was called into action once again, pushing away the Portuguese forward’s header. With Calero going off injured in stoppage time after a collision with Pol Lozano, Espanyol were left to see out the match with nine players.
Lecomte once again made a solid save from Félix, before Nahuel Molina fired wide with the last opportunity of the match. Espanyol defended like lions and managed to come away with a deserved point, as it ended all square in Madrid.
Atlético de Madrid: Oblak, Molina, Savić, Giménez, Reinildo, Llorente, De Paul (Correa 46’), Kondogbia (Witsel 65’), Carrasco (João Félix 65’), Morata (Cunha 73’), Griezmann (Lemar 73’).
RCD Espanyol: Lecomte, Óscar Gil (Omar 88’), Cabrera, Calero, B. Oliván (Simo 56’), K. Bare (S. Gómez 35’), Vini Souza, Darder, Aleix V.C (Pol Lozano 88’), Joselu, Braithwaite (Puado 56’).
Referee: Juan Luis Pulido Santana
Goals: Darder 62’, João Félix 78’
Bookings: B. Oliván 34’, Braithwaite 53’, Lecomte 74’, Aleix V.C 85’, Omar 90+5’; Kondogbia 59’, Giménez 83’, João Félix 87’
Red cards: Cabrera 28'