Simeone’s Atletico settles for road draw

Atletico Madrid passed up a host of good opportunities as Racing Santander clung on to claim a Primera Division point at El Sardinero.

The visitors had the best of a largely uneventful first half but Adrian Lopez passed up their best opportunity as he fired straight at Tono Ramirez.

The Racing keeper was busier after the break as he repelled efforts from Felipe Luis and Diego, whilst the latter and Radamel Falcao also struck the post.

Atleti have now gone six games under Diego Simeone without conceding but they will be disappointed with a second consecutive 0-0 draw from a game in which they were rarely troubled.

Felipe was first to threaten Tono’s goal as his effort from just outside the area forced the keeper into a smart save before Adrian was presented with a clear sight of goal from Diego’s inventive backheel, but the Spaniard’s shot was smothered by Tono.

Adrian Gonzalez had Racing’s best effort a minute into the second period but Thibaut Courtois comfortably held his powerful low effort and from then on Atleti completely dominated.

Felipe shot straight at Tono after being played in by another clever pass from Diego before the Brazilian playmaker should have done better himself when he struck the post following a quick exchange of passes with Arda Turan.

Falcao then wasted a glorious opportunity as Tono could only parry another Diego effort straight into the Colombian’s path but he could only turn the ball against the outside of the post.

The Racing captain continued to frustrate Simeone’s men in the final quarter as he made a wonderful save from Alvaro Dominguez’s header and held onto Pizzi’s rasping drive in the final action of the match.

The draw is enough to move Racing temporarily out of the relegation zone whilst Atleti close to within a point of Levante in fourth.