Atletico Madrid failed to make up any significant ground on LaLiga's top three as their struggles continued with a 1-1 draw at Almeria.
Diego Simeone's side have often struggled in this part of Andalusia and so that proved again on Sunday, despite Angel Correa's 18th-minute opener.
Atleti would have been two in front if not for Geoffrey Kondogbia, who got a touch to Marcos Llorente's goal-bound effort for the strike to be ruled out for offside.
El Bilal Toure headed in soon after and Almeria saw out a draw that leaves fourth-placed Atleti, who had Sergio Reguilon sent off late on, 13 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.
Atleti took the lead after Antoine Griezmann dummied Kondogbia's pass for Correa to collect and tuck through the legs of Fernando Martinez.
Llorente's shot 14 minutes later appeared to be heading for the net without the need for any intervention, but Kondogbia turned it in from an offside position.
Kondogbia's misjudgement proved costly in the 37th minute when Toure powered a diving header past Jan Oblak after meeting Lucas Robertone's right-sided cross.
Correa and Alvaro Morata should have done better with efforts that were kept out by Martinez, with the latter also heading wide from a glorious position.
Atleti substitute Reguilon was sent off in the closing stages after receiving two yellow cards in the space of four minutes, as Atleti's disappointing run of form stretched to just one win in six league matches.
What does it mean? Struggling Atletico have plenty of work to do
Atleti endured another frustrating day in a game they did more than enough to win, finishing as they did with an expected goals (xG) return of 1.17 compared to Almeria's 0.42.
Los Colchoneros have now won just one of their seven away LaLiga matches against Almeria, whose tally of five home wins this term is bettered by only two teams in the league.
While the draw has dragged Atleti back into the top four, they are seven points behind third-place Real Sociedad and are in a real battle to qualify for the Champions League.
Milestone goal for Correa
Correa took his chance brilliantly, scoring from one of his game-high four shots – double the number of any other visiting player.
That was the Argentina international's 50th LaLiga goal for Atleti, making him only the second player to reach that milestone under Simeone after Griezmann (102 goals).
Striker Morata had scored in his previous two league matches against Almeria and really should have stretched that perfect record to a third game.
The Spain international had a couple of big chances but could not convert from an xG of 0.69, which was a higher value than Almeria managed as an entire team.
Key Opta Facts
- Atleti have just lost two of their 13 games against Almeria in LaLiga (W5 D6), but they just managed to keep only four clean sheets against them in those games.
- Almeria had 14 shots, their highest tally against Atleti in a single LaLiga game since their promotion to the top-flight in 2007-08 season.
- Atleti's points total of 28 from 17 games this season is their worst tally at this stage of a campaign under Simeone, counting his full seasons.
- Atleti have seen a player sent off in each of their last three league games. The last time this happened was in March 2010.
- Indeed, five red cards have been dished out to Atleti players this season in LaLiga, the club's joint-highest tally, along with 2007-08 and 2002-03, at this stage of a season in the 21st century.
Atletico travel to Levante for a Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Wednesday, while mid-table Almeria are away at Valencia in their next LaLiga outing in eight days' time.