MADRID (AFP) – Angel Correa scored a wonder-goal from just inside the halfway-line early yesterday as Atletico Madrid fought back to claim a thrilling 2-2 draw with Villarreal.
Atletico took an early lead at La Ceramica when Correa drove a stunning shot over Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli but they fell behind in the second half, after Pau Torres and Alberto Moreno turned the game on its head.
Geoffrey Kondogbia pulled Atletico level again, with the midfielder then sent off in injury-time for a second yellow card. Amid the mayhem, Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno also missed a penalty when Atletico were in front.
Correa’s goal was his seventh of the campaign and will be a strong contender for goal of the season, coming against Rulli, his fellow Argentinian.
“I know Rulli well and I know he has this way of standing a long way out of his goal,” Correa said afterwards. “I thought I’d have a go and it came off pretty well.”
“It’s an incredible goal, it could be goal of the season,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
Villarreal came into the game on the back of losing 2-1 to Segunda side Sporting Gijon in the Copa del Rey in midweek and Unai Emery will likely be the more disappointed of the two coaches not to emerge with a victory.
Simeone clenched his fists at the final whistle.
Atletico regain fourth place, now level on points with Real Sociedad in fifth, and 16 behind leaders Real Madrid, albeit with a game in hand.
Villarreal stay eighth, but only four points adrift of the Champions League qualification places.
Sevilla earlier defeated Getafe 1-0 to reduce the gap again to Real Madrid to five points.
Real Betis, who sit third, held on for a 1-1 draw away at Rayo Vallecano, despite having Alex Moreno sent off in the first half.