Atletico falters in game marked by Torres' injury scare

MADRID: Atletico Madrid couldn't manage more than 1-1 against struggling Deportivo La Coruna in a Spanish league match marked by an injury scare involving striker Fernando Torres on Thursday.

Torres collapsed unconscious after colliding heads in a ball dispute late in the game in La Coruna. Players from both teams immediately rushed toward Torres and desperately called for medical help.

He was assisted for several minutes before being taken away on a stretcher.

Torres tweeted from hospital: "Thank you all for your concern and your messages of support. It was just a scare. I hope to be back very soon."

Atletico said initial tests showed "no alterations" or "traumatic injuries" to the player's head or spine.

"He is stable and conscious," the club tweeted. "He'll spend the night in hospital and undergo more tests tomorrow (Friday)."

Florin Andone put Deportivo ahead early at Riazor Stadium, and Antoine Griezmann equalised for Atletico with a remarkable long-range shot in the second half.

"In the end the result doesn't mean anything," Griezmann said. "We just want to know how Fernando is doing and we hope that he will be with us again soon."

The game was nearing its end when the former Spain international was hit from behind by Deportivo midfielder Alex Bergantinos just outside the penalty area in Atletico's own field.

Torres had substituted in for Kevin Gameiro in the 65th minute.

The draw kept Deportivo one point above the relegation zone, and dropped Atletico 11 points behind leader Barcelona, which routed Sporting Gijon 6-1 on Wednesday.

Second-place Real Madrid, which drew at home against Las Palmas 3-3 on Wednesday, is one point behind Barcelona.

Deportivo, which had lost four in a row and remains winless in eight games, introduced newly signed coach Pepe Mel. The team has a game in hand, against Real Betis.

Sevilla 1, Athletic Bilbao 0

Sevilla moved within two points of the lead with Vicente Iborra's first-half score at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, keeping alive its hopes of a first league title since 1946.

Iborra scored off the rebound of a save by Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz on a penalty kick taken by Sevilla forward Stevan Jovetic. The goal gave Jorge Sampaoli's team its fourth win in a row.