2021-22 LaLiga
  • Gonzalo Melero (54')

Atletico Madrid problems deepen with defeat to struggling Levante

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Levante pulls off stunning win vs. Atletico Madrid (0:48)

Bottom club Levante records its second win of the season by beating current LaLiga champion Atletico Madrid. (0:48)

LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid fell to a shock 1-0 defeat on Wednesday at home to basement club Levante, who picked up only their second win of the season.

Gonzalo Melero's goal in the second half inflicted a sixth defeat in 10 league matches on Atletico, deepening their problems a week before they host Manchester United in a Champions League last-16 first leg.

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Atletico had pulled off stunning comeback victories at home against Valencia and Getafe in the last month and thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Angel Correa netted with a spectacular overhead kick in stoppage time.

But the goal was ruled out for a foul by Jose Gimenez on Martin Caceres and Correa was shown a yellow card for his angry reaction to the decision.

After the match, Atleti keeper Jan Oblak said of the disallowed goal: "I don't know, I was a long way away, but if you let the move play out and then you blow the whistle, it's better to wait to see what the VAR says. He said it was a foul. The referee let play carry on, VAR decided it was a foul."

Levante's Mickael Malsa almost scored a second for the visitors with a spectacular effort from near the halfway line that hit the crossbar.

Atletico then came within inches of snatching a last-gasp leveller when Oblak came up to contest a set piece and headed just wide of the far post.

"In the game the other day we started well, differently to today, and today we should have done the same," Oblak said. "We didn't do that, as has been happening a lot this season, we gave away the first half, and then it's difficult, any team knows how to play, if we aren't at our best, it's impossible to win. We didn't start well, we didn't play a good game in general, and the result is what it is.

"We lost. It's tough, it's a very difficult moment, but we have to be better, all of us, we have to all give a lot more, we aren't at the level we should be at, and like this we won't get into the Champions League. We have to change, we've been saying it all season but we have to do it. There aren't many games left and we need our heads here."

Diego Simeone's side missed the chance to overtake Barcelona in fourth spot and were left fifth in the standings on 39 points. Levante stayed bottom of the table but moved on to 14 points, 10 from escaping the relegation zone.

"It's alarming for sure, where we are, with the position we're in in the league which isn't where this club has to be, and for sure it's alarming," Oblak added. "We have to start winning games, as I said a month ago, it isn't enough to talk here. I can give my opinion, but we all have to give much more, we have to raise the level if we want to get into the Champions League."