Atletico pulls even with Barca at top of Liga, Madrid loses

Atletico pulls even with Barca at top of Liga, Madrid loses

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Villarreal to fall five points behind the Spanish league's two frontrunners on Sunday, after Atletico Madrid pulled level with leader Barcelona by fighting back to win 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao.

Roberto Soldado scored Villarreal's winner eight minutes into a first half it completely dominated, before the hosts held off Madrid's furious response after the break.

Cut adrift by the pacesetters, Madrid's defeat left it just two points above fourth-place Celta Vigo & three ahead of Villarreal in fifth.

p>The stumble will add even more pressure on already questioned coach Rafa Benitez after a difficult month that included a 4-0 loss to Barcelona & disqualification from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player.

Earlier, Saul Niguez & Antoine Griezmann scored for Atletico.

Source: “Associated Press”