2021-22 LaLiga

Granada hold Atletico to goalless draw

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Matheus Cunha hits the post late in Atleti draw (0:36)

Matheus Cunha nearly scores late in the second half in a draw for Atletico Madrid against Granada in LaLiga. (0:36)

Atletico Madrid missed a golden opportunity in the battle for second place in LaLiga after they were held to a goalless draw by lowly Granada at a half-empty Metropolitano Stadium on a cold and rainy Wednesday in the Spanish capital.

Atletico trail leaders Real Madrid by 14 points following another frustrating afternoon, a week after they were knocked out in the Champions League quarterfinals by Manchester City.

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Diego Simeone's side are one point ahead of Barcelona in third and fourth-placed Sevilla, who both play tomorrow and could leapfrog Atletico.

The team that finish second qualify for the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia next January.

Missing several starters due to injury and suspension, such as striker Joao Felix who will miss the rest of the season with a muscle injury, Atletico created few chances and rarely troubled Granada goalkeeper Luis Maximiano.

Atletico appealed vehemently for a foul inside the area by Victor Diaz on Antoine Griezmann in the first half, but it was not spotted by referee Jesus Gil Manzano and the video assistant referee did not intervene.

The home side came closest to breaking the deadlock in added time when striker Matheus Cunha expertly controlled a clever pass inside the box, but his effort crashed against the left post.

"We are very angry and frustrated," Atletico's Rodrigo de Paul told Movistar Plus.

"We tried until the end but things never went our way, we know that it was important to win to finish the season in second place. Now we will have to try to rescue the points in the coming weeks."

Only six points separate Atletico from Real Sociedad in sixth as the battle to finish in the top four and secure Champions League qualification intensifies.

The Basque side, who are unbeaten in their last five games, host Barca on Thursday.

Real Betis, fifth on 57 points, also stumbled, losing 1-0 to lowly Elche on Tuesday. Coach Manuel Pellegrini decided to rest almost all his usual starters as they prepare to face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.