Atletico Madrid draw with Barcelona

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Fernando Torres scored a 49th-minute equaliser to earn Atletico Madrid a 1-1 draw with Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
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Fifty-five thousand (55,000) fans were packed into the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Sunday, as Atletico Madrid hosted Barcelona in the Spanish League. The heated atmosphere went a touch too far in the stands just before kick-off - luckily the blaze was quickly put out. A fired-up Atletico nearly took the lead in fortunate circumstances 18 minutes in, but Ariel Miguel Ibagaza was denied by the post. Four minutes later, Barca took the lead. Unsurprisingly, Ronaldinho was involved - the Brazilian's dribble half-cleared by Ibagaza to Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and the Dutchman's strike was spectacular. But Atletico battled back to level just after the interval. Fernando Torres took advantage of substitute Salva Ballesta's headed flick to lift the ball over goalkeeper Victor Valdes and into the net via the crossbar. The home side were then subjected to sustained pressure from the visiting side. Group leaders Ronaldinho headed inches over after Henrik Larsson had diverted Van Bronckhorst's free-kick back across goal. And the same two players combined in a superb move, but the Brazilian watched his shot go agonisingly wide. Xavi was also frustrated, almost grabbing the winner with a brilliant individual effort. He was denied by Sergi's clearance and Barca had to settle for a point. The result means that both sides have lost their 100 per cent victory records, though they are among the leading group of six teams on seven points after three games. (AP)

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