Atletico struggles continue

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November 01, 2017
Atletico's Saul Niguez controls the ball during their Group C Champions League match against Qarabag at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, yesterday.

MADRID (AP):

Atletico Madrid were held by 10-man Qarabag to a 1-1 draw in Group C of the Champions League yesterday, further damaging their chances of advancing to the knockout stages.

Having easily qualified from the group stage for the past four years, Atletico are still winless after four matches. They trail second-place Chelsea by four points and group leaders Roma by five.

Atletico need to win their last two matches, against Roma and at Chelsea, and hope that one of them slips up against Qarabag. Chelsea play in Azerbaijan on November 22 and Roma host the newcomers on December 5.

Qarabag earned their first ever Champions League point when they played Atletico in Azerbaijan two weeks ago, a match they also finished with 10 men.

Atletico again had a difficult time creating significant scoring chances against Qarabag, which played solidly defensively and took advantage of one of their few opportunities up front to break the deadlock.

Midfielder Michel scored with a header after a corner kick in the 40th minute at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Atletico equalised in the 56th with a stunning side-foot shot from outside the area by midfielder Thomas Partey, hitting the top corner after a back-heel set up by forward Antoine Griezmann.

Diego Simeone's team failed to find a winner despite Qarabag going a man down a couple of minutes later when Pedro Henrique was sent off for a dangerous high kick in a challenge with Atletico defender Diego Godin.

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