Soccer-Romero scores twice as bottom side Almeria hold Atletico to a draw

Soccer Football - LaLiga - Almeria v Atletico Madrid - Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos, Almeria, Spain - February 24, 2024 Almeria's Luka Romero celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Jon Nazca

(Reuters) -Atletico Madrid's poor LaLiga run continued on Saturday as they were held to a 2-2 draw by bottom side Almeria thanks to a brace by 19-year-old Argentine forward Luka Romero.

Atletico, who have now failed to win three of their last four league matches, are fourth in the standings with 52 points. They trail third-placed Girona by four points and are three ahead Athletic Bilbao in fifth, both of whom have a game in hand.

Almeria remain winless after 26 matches and have only nine points, 11 adrift of the safety zone.

Atletico started strong and Angel Correa's close-range effort in the second minute handed the visitors the lead.

While Memphis Depay missed a chance to extend their lead a few minutes later, Romero levelled the score with a fine strike from long-range in the 27th minute.

Rodrigo de Paul put the visitors back in front with a deflected shot in the 57th minute and Rodrigo Riquelme came close to extending that lead two minutes later but his strike from the edge of the box hit the crossbar.

Romero, who in 2020 became the youngest player to feature in a LaLiga match as a 15-year-old for Mallorca, fired in another equaliser into the top corner in the 64th minute.

"It's a sour taste. I don't care about scoring a goal, I care about the team winning. We tried but we couldn't take the three points, it's frustrating," De Paul told Movistar Plus.

Atletico will next be in action on Thursday in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Athletic Bilbao. They trail 1-0 after the first leg.

"We have to know how to manage that anger (of dropping points today) and use it to prepare very well for Thursday," added De Paul.

(Reporting by Fernando Kallas, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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