LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Chelsea surrendered the top spot in the Champions League Group C when they drew 1-1 at home against Spain’s Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
Chelsea, who had already secured their place in the knockout phase, finished second in the group behind Italy’s AS Roma, while Atletico, finalists in 2014 and 2016, will drop into the Europa League after finishing third.
Atletico took the lead in the 56th minute when Saul Niguez headed in at the far post after flick on by former Chelsea striker Fernando Torres following a corner.
The goal was tough on Chelsea who had created a string of chances while Atletico barely troubled the hosts in the first 45 minutes.
Chelsea’s pressure paid off in the 75th minute when Atletico defender Stefan Savic turned an Eden Hazard cross into his own net, setting up a climactic end to the game as both sides pushed for a winning goal.
Spain striker Alvaro Morata fired at Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak when he looked sure to score and Brazil winger Willian wasted an even better chance when he blazed an effort high and wide in the 82nd minute.
Substitute Michy Batshuayi went close in added time when his angled shot flew just wide of Oblak’s post. (Editing by Toby Davis)