More boos for Atlético Madrid after another setback

MADRID (AP) — Another setback, another round of boos for Atlético Madrid.

Some of Atlético’s fans appear to be running out of patience with Diego Simeone’s team and expressed their disapproval after a 1-1 home draw against 10-man Espanyol in the Spanish league on Sunday. The result extended Atlético’s winless streak to four matches in all competitions.

João Félix came off the bench to salvage the draw with a 78th-minute equalizer after the visitors had opened the scoring through Sergi Darder in the 62nd. Espanyol played a man down from the 28th after defender Leandro Cabrera was sent off with a straight red card for a foul on Atlético forward Álvaro Morata.

Atlético pressed until the end but couldn’t capitalize on its chances, prompting many of the fans at the Metropolitano Stadium to jeer after the final whistle.

“The reaction from the fans is understandable, no one is happy,” Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak said. “Until we start doing well on the field again, things won’t get better.”

The most radical group of Atlético fans had protested by not taking their seats behind one of the goals during the first half, leaving a large empty gap, and they were mostly quiet after coming in for the second half. They were booed by some of the other fans when they took their seats.

The draw came after Atlético lost at Porto on Tuesday in the Champions League to finish last in its group. It was only the second time in 10 seasons that Simeone’s team failed to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Atlético was coming off a loss at relegation-threatened Cádiz in the previous round in the Spanish league, and had drawn against Bayern Leverkusen at home to be eliminated from the Champions League with a round left in the group stage.

“We tried everything to get the victory but nothing is going our way right now. We are disappointed, we deserved more than a draw,” Oblak said. “It’s clear that psychologically we are not in a good place. It’s not normal what we are going through, but when psychologically you are not well, the body doesn’t work as it should work.”

The draw with Espanyol left Atlético 10 points behind league leader Barcelona — which beat Almería 2-0 at home on Saturday — and eight points behind Real Madrid, which visits Rayo Vallecano on Monday.

“At some point, and hopefully soon, we will turn things around and start winning again,” Atlético defender José María Giménez said.

Espanyol stayed in 16th place, one point clear of the relegation zone. It is winless in four straight league matches.

HEATED DERBY

Betis and Sevilla drew 1-1 in a heated Seville derby where Betis played with nine men from the 49th minute and Sevilla was a player down from the 38th.

Sevilla lost Gonzalo Montiel with a red card, while Betis saw Nabil Fekir sent off in first-half stoppage time and Borja Iglesias dismissed early in the second half.

Betis went ahead with an own-goal by Sevilla defender Jesús Navas in the 43rd. Sevilla equalized with a long-range shot by Nemanja Gudelj in the 81st.

Gudelj nearly added a second when another long-range strike hit the crossbar in the 90th, and then in stoppage time when his shot from inside the area was saved by Betis goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

The result kept Betis in fourth place and Sevilla in 17th, just outside the relegation zone.

SOCIEDAD SURVIVES

Sixth-place Real Sociedad salvaged a 1-1 home draw against Valencia despite playing a man down from the 17th minute, when Aritz Elustondo was sent off with a straight red card. The referee initially showed him a yellow card but changed his call after video review.

Sociedad, winless in three consecutive league games, had opened the scoring a few minutes earlier with an own-goal by Valencia defender Hugo Guillamón. The visitors, winless in five league matches, equalized through Samuel Lino in the 25th.

SETIÉN’S STRUGGLES

Eighth-place Villarreal lost 2-0 to Mallorca at home as new coach Quique Setién remained winless in four matches in all competitions since replacing Unai Emery.

Vedat Muriqi and Amath Ndiaye scored a goal in each half for Mallorca, which has won two of its last three league matches and is in 12th place.

Setién was jeered by many Villarreal fans, with some calling for him to resign.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

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