The home side went down to a goal from Manu Trigueros on the 52nd minute, but star striker Luis Suarez bagged an equaliser for his side just four minutes later.
Summer signing Arnaut Danjuma handed Villarreal the lead once again on the 74th minute. Villarreal manager Unai Emery will be devastated with a late own goal from Aissa Mandi that helped Atletico secure a point at home.
Here at Anytime football, we look at the major talking points from tonight’s contest.
Bizzare Mandi head that levelled the scoreline
Late drama in the Liga as Atletico Madrid salvaged a draw against Villarreal. It was the closing moments of the match, and the defending champions were trailing 1-2 at home. Diego Simeone’s side received help from the most unexpected quarters.
Aissa Mandi headed a ball back into his own goal, as the goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli was positioned slight offset. The pace of the ball was slow but enough to beat Rulli to level the scoreline.
Poor defensive showing
Jose Jimenez, Mario Hermoso and Stefan Savic performed way below their usual levels, and Atletico Madrid looked vulnerable at the back right from the start.
Diego Simeone’s men are usually well-drilled and disciplined at the back. Still, the defending champions lacked the organisation tonight, and they could have easily dropped all three points on another day.
Baffling midfield selection
Simeone decided to start Koke in a deeper role tonight, and Marcos Llorente and Thomas Lemar played in an advanced role ahead of the Spaniard.
Not only did Atletico Madrid struggle to control the game, but the defenders were also left without protection because of the lack of a specialist defensive midfielder.
Atletico Madrid’s midfield three was overrun time and again, and Simeone should have opted for Saul Niguez or Geoffrey Kondogbia from the start.
A standout performance from Yeremi Pino
The 18-year-old Villarreal midfielder put on a spectacular display for his side against one of the best teams in the division.
The home side struggled to contain the talented young winger throughout the game, and he managed to set up both goals for his side.