MADRID: Atletico Madrid now lead the Spanish league by only one point after struggling to a 1-1 draw away to Betis in Seville.
Defending champions Real Madrid are hard on their heels after beating third-placed Barcelona 2-1 on Saturday night.
Yannick Carrasco put Atletico ahead when he latched onto a loose ball and tapped home but Cristian Tello levelled with a cushioned finish. Veteran keeper Claudio Bravo made two fantastic saves in injury time to deny Angel Correa a winner for Atletico.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico – who were 10 points clear at the end of January – have only won three of their past 11 games in all competitions and look to be running out of steam.
Joao Felix went off in the first half to add to their problems, with fellow forwards Luis Suarez and Moussa Dembele already sidelined. England right-back Kieran Tripper also limped off late on.
On Saturday Real Madrid completed a double over Barcelona in an El Clasico played in torrential rain at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
Karim Benzema broke the deadlock with a sublime near-post flick – his ninth goal in his past seven La Liga games. Real doubled their lead before half-time through Toni Kroos’ deflected free-kick.
Oscar Mingueza pulled one back for Barca before Madrid’s Casemiro was shown a late red card.