A terrible blunder from Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Ivo Grbic gifted La Liga basement side Elche a 1-0 victory at home on Sunday - only its fourth win of the season.
The Croatian keeper, standing in for the injured Jan Oblak, let a long throw-in from the left touchline slip through his hands inside the six-yard box, with Elche’s Fidel Chaves in the right place to tap the ball into a wide-open net in the 41st minute.
The loss left Atletico third in the table on 69 points, two behind local rivals Real Madrid, who beat Getafe 1-0 on Saturday.
Runaway leaders Barca has 82 points and will get the chance to clinch its 27th LaLiga crown with four games to spare when it faces Espanyol later on Sunday.
“In the first half we were not good, nothing came out of it,” Atletico captain Koke told Movistar Plus.
“In the second half the team reacted but we were not as we should be. We have to learn from this defeat for the future. We want to be as high as possible. Hopefully we can win the last few matches.”
Atletico put in a toothless performance and let Elche dominate proceedings from the beginning with almost 60 per cent of possession in a dour first half.
After Fidel scored right before half-time, Atletico tried to show some fighting spirit and make a game of it in the second half but Yannick Carrasco and Alvaro Morata scuffed its half-chances.
It was a wake-up call for an Atletico side who has had an excellent second half of an otherwise disappointing season. It was eliminated from European competition in November after finishing last in its Champions League group, and has dropped as low as sixth in the LaLiga standings before the World Cup break.
- Asia Cup 2023, Super 4: Kohli, Rahul, Kuldeep shine as India registers record win over Pakistan
- India vs Pakistan Reserve Day weather updates, Asia Cup Super 4: Play resumes after rain relents
- India vs Pakistan HIGHLIGHTS, Asia Cup Super 4 Reserve Day: IND beats PAK by 228 runs for record win; Kohli, Rahul, Kuldeep shine
- Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not playing in the Portugal vs Luxembourg EURO 2024 qualifier?
- ‘Maximum respect’ for Rubiales resignation: Spain coach De la Fuente