Atlético draws with Barcelona and keeps Liga lead

MADRID — Atlético Madrid held on as leader of the Spanish league by holding Barcelona to 0-0 at the Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday.

Atlético remained two points in front of Barcelona with three rounds to go, still in position to win its first league title since 2014.

Atlético can be surpassed on Sunday if defending champion Real Madrid defeats Sevilla at home. Madrid is three points behind Atlético but would take the lead because it holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against its city rival.

Sevilla was seven points behind Atlético and remained a title contender.

Atlético played well at the Camp Nou but couldn’t capitalize on its chances, with Luis Suárez unable to break through with a goal against his former club.

Lionel Messi had some of the few chances for Barcelona, his best near the end of the first half after a great run past defenders. But his shot was brilliantly saved by Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Messi’s 90th-minute free kick just missed the post.

Barcelona defender Ronald Araújo had a goal disallowed for offside in the 70th.

Atlético remained winless at the Camp Nou since Diego Simeone took over as coach in late 2011. The team is winless in 15 consecutive away matches against Barcelona, since 2006. However, a 1-1 draw at the stadium in 2014 was enough to clinch Atlético its last league title.

Barcelona began at full strength but coach Ronald Koeman was absent to serve the second of a two-game suspension for using inappropriate language while arguing with a referee.

Atlético midfielder Thomas Lemar was injured less than 15 minutes in, while Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets left after 30 minutes because of a head injury.


Joselu scored in the 87th to help host Alavés draw with Levante 2-2. Alavés was in 16th place, two points above the relegation zone.

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