On Saturday, Spanish champions Atletico Madrid were defeated 1-0 by lowly Mallorca, ending their six-game winning run in LaLiga.
Atletico Madrid sit fourth in the table with 57 points, one point behind Barcelona, who have two games in hand, and three points behind second-placed Sevilla. Real Madrid, which hosts Getafe later on Saturday, is in first place with 69 points.
Coach Diego Simeone rested many players in preparation for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City, and Atletico struggled to establish their rhythm against fourth-bottom Mallorca, who had lost seven straight league games.
Kosovo striker Vedat Muriqi scored Mallorca’s winning goal in the 71st minute after Atletico defender Reinildo Mandava fouled Pablo Maffeo.
The champs put forth a terrible effort, with just one shot on target throughout the game.
Mallorca began the game with a defensive attitude, but with Atletico unable to generate much in the first half, the home team went on the offensive after the interval.
They got the game’s first scoring chance on the opening play of the second half when Brian Olivan fired in a powerful shot that Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak dove to save just inside his left post.
Muriqi was inches away from a header from a free-kick with just the goalie in front of him when Mallorca had another excellent opportunity.
Mallorca’s goal came as a result of Mandava’s foul on Maffeo, with Muriqi hitting his penalty kick into the top corner of the net.
“We need to do more and better,” Oblak told Movistar Plus.
“Yes, we were exhausted following last Tuesday’s game against Manchester City, when we didn’t play well and lost, but there is no excuse.”
“They’re fighting for their lives and came to the game with a plan.” We should have anticipated that and held ourselves to a higher standard.”
With seven games remaining, including difficult matches against Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Real Sociedad, Atletico will have to keep an eye on fifth-place Real Betis, who are just one point behind them in the fight for the last Champions League position.