Levante took advantage of a clearly worn down Atlético Madrid side and pulled off an impressive 2-0 victory over the league leaders on Sunday. A Filipe Luis own-goal early, combined with a David Barral goal midway through the second half, were enough for Les Granotes to pull off the upset.
The loss isn't the end of the world for Atlético Madrid, who still control the title race thanks to having the tiebreaker over Real Madrid. Atléti will just need to match or better their city rivals' results over the final two weeks to win the league, but that includes a trip to the Camp Nou on the final day to face Barcelona.
Atlético Madrid got off to a bit of a nightmarish start when Simão's seemingly harmless flick on at the near post took an odd glance off of Filipe Luis before bouncing past Thibaut Courtois. There was nothing Luis or Coutois could have done as it was a perfect storm of bad events, but Levante didn't care as they took an early 1-0 lead.
Raúl García missed a golden chance in the 14th minute when a long ball into the box set him up at point blank range in front of Keylor Navas. The Levante keeper made a tremendous save, blocking García's hard shot but leaving a big rebound for David Villa, who skied his shot well over the crossbar.
Diego Simeone made two changes at halftime, bringing in Arda Turan and Adrián along with switching to more of a 4-3-3 formation in an attempt to break down Levante's compacted defense. The chances started to increase, but the goal remained elusive as the match crept past the hour mark.
Atléti had two close calls as they chased the equalizer. First in the 63rd minute it was Filipe Luis whose shot from just inside the box was blocked on the six-yard line by Loukas Vyntra. Then in the 65th minute a Diego free kick found Diego Costa at the far post, but the striker just missed getting his boot on the ball, which sailed wide.
In the 67th minute, Navas was again brilliant. He was able to extend his body to block a long distance effort from Toby Alderweireld that was destined for the top corner of the net after taking a slight deflection.
With Atléti pushing forward, Levante found a way to strike on the counter attack to double their lead in the 69th minute. David Barral received a splendid cross from Víctor Casadesús as he moved in the center of the Atléti box. Barral fought off a challenge from Diego Godín and put the ball past Courtois to make it 2-0.
Adrián was denied what appeared to be a sure goal in the 77th minute when his shot from the left side of the box hammered off the outside of the post.
Basically, it just wasn't Aléti's day.
Levante: Navas, López, Juanfran, Navarro, Vyntra, Casadesús, Garcia (Pinto 72'), Sissoko (Ivanschitz 59'), Diop, Simão, Barral (Angel 80')
Goals: Filipe Luis o.g. (7'), Barral (69')
Atlético Madrid: Courtois, Filipe Luis, Godiín, Miranda, Alderweireld, Tiago, Gabi, Koke (Diego Ribas 62'), García (Adrián 46'), David Villa (Arda Turan 46'), Diego Costa