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Last Updated Wednesday August 23 2017 07:25 PM IST

Griezmann's late equalizer dents Real Madrid's title hopes

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Antoine Griezmann Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid scores the equalizer against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday. Getty Images

Madrid: Real Madrid's title hopes were dented as Antoine Griezmann grabbed an 85th-minute equalizer for city rivals Atletico Madrid in a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Pepe opened the scoring for Real with a looping header in the 52nd minute and it looked like the hosts would earn the victory that would have moved them five clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

But Griezmann's equalizer ensured that the gap remained three points with Barcelona having the chance to go back top on goal difference with victory at Malaga later on Saturday, although they have played a game more than Real.

First strike Pepe, center, celebrates with Marcelo, left, and Luka Modric after scoring the opening goal of the match. Getty Images

Fernando Torres had missed a one-on-one chance for Atletico as they sought their equalizer but they eventually grabbed the point when substitute Angel Correa put in Griezmann with a sharp pass and the Frenchman finished expertly.

The first half had been a tense affair, with both teams playing patiently and carving out a couple of opportunities to take the lead.

Saul Niguez had the first chance, heading Koke's free kickinches wide, before Yannick Carrasco crossed for Griezmann, who hit the post only to be ruled offside.

At the other end, Atletico goalkeeper Oblak made a good save to deny Cristiano Ronaldo at his near post, then a brilliant one to keep out a fierce Karim Benzema strike.

He was eventually beaten by Ronaldo after Luka Modric won the ball back and played him in, but a stunning headed clearance off the line from Stefan Savic kept the score level.

Griezmann had another chance after Sergio Ramos blundered by passing the ball straight to him, but his strike was tipped wide by Keylor Navas.

Ronaldo headed wide and Oblak made another terrific save to deny Benzema early in the second half, before Pepe opened the scoring in the 52nd minute.

Saul conceded a free kick for handball and Toni Kroos whipped it in from the right, with Pepe's header looping beyond the Slovenian stopper and into the net.

Torres should have equalized when sent through one-on-one with Navas, but Madrid's goalkeeper rushed out to deny him, before Griezmann's late intervention earned third-placed Atletico a point.

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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