Liga - Huge drama as Spanish title race goes to final day

La Liga, Vicente Calderon - Atletico Madrid (Alderweireld 74) Malaga (Samuel 65)

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Liga - Huge drama as Spanish title race goes to final day
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Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld celebrates after scoring a goal against Malaga during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid May 11, 2014.

The Spanish Liga title race will come down to the final day of the season after Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Malaga.

Diego Simeone’s side missed the chance to win their first La Liga title since 1996, with Barcelona also being held to a draw at Elche, with Atleti lacking a cutting edge with Diego Costa missing from the squad.

After Real Madrid lost to Celta Vigo it is now a two-horse race heading into the final round of games. Just three points now separate Atletico and Barca ahead of the game at the Camp Nou next week and if Barca win at home, they take the title on head-to-head record. Any other results gives Atleti the title.

Malaga shocked the Vicente Calderon crowd when Samuel Garcia took advantage of a defensive mix up between Juanfran, Toby Alderweireld and Thibaut Courtois to head into the empty net and give his team the lead.

But Atletico netted an equaliser with little over 15 minutes left, Alderweireld heading into the bottom corner of Cabaellero’s net having found a yard of space from a corner kick.

Atleti piled forward in search of a winner, with Marcos Angeleri shown a second yellow for a reckless challenge. Adrian Lopez came agonizingly close to beating Willy Caballero in stoppage time, but the Malaga keeper tipped his effort round the post to deny Atletico a historic result.

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KEY EVENTS

11’ - SHOULD SCORE: Villa hits the bar! Garcia flicks the ball onto the former Barcelona striker, who has been left unmarked at the back post. He has time to set himself, but he leans back and his effort clips the top of the woodwork and goes over!

55’ - WILLY SAVE: Big save by Willy! Garcia plays an angled ball through to Villa, who beats the offside trap. But with the angle tight and few options in the middle he smashes his shot at the near post. The keeper sticks out an arm to save!

61' – COURTOIS SAVE: Huge save from Courtois! Santa Cruz is slotted through on goal as Malaga come forward on the counter attack, but the Atletico keeper comes off his line to make himself massive and make the stop!

66’ GOAL – Wow! What a mix up between Juanfran, Courtois and Alderweireld. Samuel lobs the ball over the keeper and heads into the empty net.

73’ - EQUALISER: They have the equaliser! The corner kick comes into the box from the right side and Alderweireld guides the ball into the corner, completely unmarked!

87’ - RED CARD: Angeleri is sent off after picking up a second yellow card for a late lunge on an Atletico Madrid player.

89' – INCHES WIDE: So close! Sosa stands over the freekick and tries to curl his shot into the top corner of Willy's net. But he puts just a little bit too much curl on the effort and it hits the side netting. What a chance that was!

95’ - WHAT A SAVE! Unbelievable! I thought that was the moment! Adrian jinks inside on to his right foot and shoots towards goal but the keeper tips it round the post!

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KEY STATS

The draw against Malaga means that Atletico Madrid have gone the whole league season without losing at the Vicente Calderon.

Atletico Madrid only need a point to claim their first league title since 1996.

Diego Simeone’s side have only lost once in their last 13 games in all competitions.

TALKING POINT

Are Atletico Madrid feeling the pressure? For so long Atleti looked ice cool. They reached the Champions League final with victory at Chelsea and were in a commanding position in La Liga. Then nerves got the better of them at Levante last week, followed by the draw against Malaga. Have they handed control of the title race over to Barca?

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Willy Caballero (Malaga): The Argentinean goalkeeper made a number of incredible saves to preserve a point for his team. Adrian Lopez looked to have beaten him in stoppage time, but an outstretched finger tipped the ball round the post.

PLAYER RATINGS

Atletico Madrid: Courtois 5, Juanfran 5, Miranda 6, Luis 6, Alderweireld 6, Tiago 6, Koke 5, Garcia 5, Turan 5, Gabi 6, Villa 5. Subs: Sosa 6, Adrian 6, Diego 6.

Malaga: Caballero 8, Weligton 5, Angeleri 5, Eliseu 6, Antunes 6, Camacho 5, Duda 6, Darder 6, Santa Cruz 6, Amrabat 5, Samuel 7. Subs: Rescaldani 4, Pawlowski 4, Juanmi 4.

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