After only 51 seconds, Alvaro Morata scored the quickest goal of the LaLiga season but Atletico Madrid was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Celta Vigo.
Morata followed up on his double in last Friday’s victory over Real Mallorca by hitting at Estadio de Balaidos in the first minute.
Fran Beltran deservedly awarded early in the second half with his season’s first target of pushing Celta seven points away from the relegation zone with three matches to play, while Mallorca ‘s third-bottom has a game.
Third-placed Atleti will be unbeaten in 15 games and a draw will keep them on course to secure a spot in the Champions League.
Atleti couldn’t have wanted a better start, Angel Correa taking a pass from Santiago Arias and picking Morata for a tap on the clock with less than a minute.
Celta responded to that early blow and the deflected strike by Brais Mendez went into the side netting before the midfielder curled a shot wide from the far post.
In the first half, Diego Simeone ‘s side could have doubled their lead late, but Correa was unable to apply the finish as he charged the penalty area.
Just four minutes after the restart, Celta was level, Beltran did not get a clean touch on Mendez ‘s cross but saw his volley loop with Jan Oblak helpless in the far corner.
The men of Oscar Garcia didn’t look like a side in danger of falling and Mendez was denied by the busy Oblak, who then palmed the strike away from Santi Mina for a corner.
Ivan Villar substituted the injured Celta goalkeeper Ruben Blanco with nine minutes to play and denied Thomas Lemar, with a penalty appeal being rejected late after a VAR search.
Atleti leads Sevilla in the battle for Champions League spots, having a game in hand, by three points and nine better off than fifth-placed Villarreal.
Celta should have enough to avoid relegation on the proof of this showing, in which they could have secured a surprise win.