Atletico Madrid and Villarreal’s dramatic draw ‘ends in chaos as tunnel fight with Unai Emery’s assistant held while another coach is punched in the mouth’
- Atletico Madrid drew 2-2 with Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday evening
- Villarreal led as the game went into the fifth minute of stoppage time
- Aissa Mandi scored a bizarre own goal as he tried to head the ball back
A brawl is said to have broken out in the tunnel after Atlético Madrid took one last breather against Unai Emery’s Villarreal on Sunday.
Villarreal looked to be heading for an unlikely victory as new signing Arnaut Danjuma restored their lead in the 74th minute after Luis Suarez canceled Manu Trigueros’ opening attack earlier in the second half.
But in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Atlético’s Saul Niguez sent a hopeful ball into the field and Algerian defender Mandi rose to head the ball back to goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, instead looking into his own net to the horror of his teammates.
And reports claim things quickly turned sour after the final whistle.
Referee Soto Grado reported that the two teams clashed in the tunnel, involving both players and coaches.
Spanish outlet AS says its report revealed Atletico coach Pedro Tomas Renones Crego “hit a member of the visiting coaching staff” while Emery’s assistant Villarreal Imanol Idiakez “aggressively confronted Atletico players and staff and had to be detained by members of his team’.
There are also claims that a coach was punched in the mouth.
Though Villarreal could hardly believe their setback, a draw was no less than Atletico deserved after firing 23 shots on target at the two of the visitors, both of whom landed in the net.
The late drama avoided Atletico’s first home defeat since February, taking them to seven points after three games alongside five other teams, with Real Madrid leading the table on goal difference.
Atletico had dominated the first half but fell behind early in the second period after a thumping attack by midfielder Trigueros from just inside the area following a stoppage by Yeremi Pino.
Luis Suarez scored his first goal of the season before reaching the level of the hosts shortly after, with a skilful pass from Angel Correa, who had scored Atlético’s previous three goals this season in victories over Celta Vigo and Elche.
But the Uruguayan, whose 21 goals in the last campaign were crucial to Atletico’s title, later went off the court injured and was seen on the bench nursing his knee with an ice pack.