MADRID (Reuters) -Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday by LaLiga's second-from-bottom side Getafe, who cancelled out Angel Correa's goal on the hour with a thunderous Enes Unal penalty late on.
It was another disappointing result for Atletico in a difficult season. After finishing last in their Champions League group and being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by rivals Real Madrid last week, Atletico are struggling to secure one of the league's four spots in Europe's top competition next season.
They are fourth in the LaLiga standings on 35 points, four behind third-placed Real Sociedad and 15 back from leaders Barcelona. In the relegation zone, Getafe are 19th on 18 points.
"We didn't score the second goal which would leave you calmer, and then gave away a penalty in a situation that was not dangerous. We need to keep improving," Atletico manager Diego Simeone told DAZN.
Atletico had more than 60% possession and started pressing their rivals in the first minutes of the game. They clamoured for a penalty early in the first half when defender Djene Ortega, who had already been booked, held Alvaro Morata inside the box. But the referee decided the contact was not enough to be seen as an infringement.
Morata had a goal ruled out for offside a little later and Correa missed a sitter from close-range half an hour into the match.
Atletico missed several other chances to take an early lead, eventually scoring in the 60th minute when Correa fired in from a rebound.
The shot was initially ruled out by the assistant referee who thought the Argentinian was offside, but a VAR review overturned that decision and gave Atletico the goal.
But Getafe secured a precious point away from home in the 83rd minute after the referee spotted a handball by Saul Niguez inside the box. Unal stepped up and blasted in the resulting penalty, scoring with the visitors' only shot on target in the match.
Atletico made a late push for the win but kept missing chances and were left frustrated in a game they probably should have won.
"We tried in every way. Circumstances are sometimes unpredictable," Simeone told DAZN.
"The team had a good initiative. There were circumstances that could benefit us, such as Djene grabbing Morata, small circumstances that have not gone our way lately."
(Reporting by Fernando Kallas; Editing by Hugh Lawson)