SEVILLE, Spain (AFP) – Antoine Griezmann preserved Atletico Madrid’s status as chief challengers to Barcelona in La Liga on Sunday night after his stunning free-kick earned them a 1-1 draw at Sevilla.
Sevilla would have leapfrogged Atletico into second with a win at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and were favourites to do so when Wissam Ben Yedder put them ahead eight minutes before the break.
Griezmann, however, produced a moment of magic by whipping home his fifth goal in as many games on the stroke of half-time to ensure a thrilling contest with the spoils shared.
Sevilla exploded out of the blocks and the excellent Jesus Navas led the way, as his speed over short distances seems as sharp ever and Atletico were left chasing his heels throughout.
In between, Griezmann tested Tomas Vaclik with a bending effort from range but Sevilla remained in charge.
The hosts got their reward in the 38th minute, and Navas’ cross was feathered by Daniel Carrico but still needed Ben Yedder to swivel and sweep it home with his left foot.
Atletico were awarded a free-kick in prime Griezmann territory and the World Cup winner struck it superbly with his left foot, flashing it across the rooted Vaclik into the top right-hand corner.