Diego Simeone was left to rue a missed opportunity as his Atletico Madrid side were held to a goalless draw at home by Sevilla.
Antoine Griezmann had the best chance for the hosts in the first half, but he couldn’t quite stretch far enough to get a decisive touch and divert the ball into the back of the net.
He was nearly made to pay for his squandered opportunity as Ever Banega sent an effort goalwards which took a deflection and bounced off the top of the crossbar.
As a result, the two sides went into the interval level with little between them in what was becoming a scrappy encounter.
It appeared as though the momentum had shifted into Atleti’s favour just after the hour mark though, with Vitolo picking up his second yellow card of the game.
While coach Unai Emery also received his marching orders for his protests on the sidelines, it wasn’t enough to stir the hosts into the ascendency and find a breakthrough as they continued to toil.
The draw moves Simeone’s men back level at the top of La Liga with Barcelona, but the Catalan giants will have the chance to move clear once again as they hold a game in hand over their title rivals and will hope to make the most of their advantage.
Atleti are considered the third favourites for the title behind Barca and Real Madrid, and perhaps this game was an example of why as a lack of a clinical edge proved to be their undoing.