Dembele strikes at the death to rescue Barcelona a point against Atletico

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Ousmane Dembele scored a last-gasp equaliser as LaLiga leaders Barcelona denied Atletico Madrid top spot by snatching a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Diego Costa’s 77th-minute header had looked like taking Atletico above the champions but a previously dull game came to life in the latter stages.

Dembele had the final word when his deflected strike found its way into the net in the last minute.

The result ensured Barca stayed ahead of Atletico at the top but Sevilla could now move above them before the end of the weekend.

The clash largely failed to live up to expectations and neither side could muster a shot on target in a drab first half.

Barca looked to Lionel Messi for inspiration but he twice fired free-kicks from the right over the bar. Another good break from deep by the Argentinian also came to nothing.

The best move involving Messi saw him play in Sergi Roberto on the right but goalkeeper Jan Oblak comfortably dealt with his cross.

Diego Costa thought he had scored the winner against Barcelona
Diego Costa thought he had scored the winner against Barcelona (AP)

The hosts began to show more ambition after the break but clear-cut openings were still few and far between.

Griezmann gave Barca a warning when he reached the byline just before the hour but his cutback for Costa was well read by Pique.

Atletico also appealed for a penalty after the ball struck Arturo Vidal on the arm but neither referee nor VAR deemed it deliberate.

The game was transformed as Atletico grabbed the lead 13 minutes from time.

Barca’s defenders were wrong-footed as Griezmann lofted a corner to the far post and Costa ran in unmarked to get the better of Rafinha and guide a header past a stranded Ter Stegen.

Messi again came to the fore as Barca tried to rouse themselves but he shot one free-kick straight into the hands of Oblak before having another deflected over. Griezmann had a similar set-piece opportunity at the other end but also failed to find the target.

The pace of the game notably increased and became more open as time ran out and Barca were not to be denied.

Their equaliser came as Messi played in Dembele. The Frenchman took a touch and cut inside before firing a low shot through the legs of Oblak. Lucas Hernadez made a last-ditch attempt to keep it out but succeeded only in deflecting it into the net.

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