Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann scored with a brilliant dipping shot to secure a 1-1 draw at Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga today, but the goal was overshadowed by a sickening head injury to Fernando Torres.

Former Spain striker Torres fell face down on the pitch in the 85th minute after challenging for the ball with Alex Bergantinos and was carried off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace.

Players from both teams looked concerned as an eerie silence fell over the Riazor stadium while the home fans applauded Torres, who had regained consciousness, as he left the pitch.

A statement from Atletico said the 32-year-old Torres had suffered head trauma and would spend the night under medical observation in a hospital in Coruna.

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Atletico coach Diego Simeone said in his post-match press conference: "We still don't have any official information but he's conscious.

"Worried, nervous ... those are the feelings after he suffered such a heavy blow.

"We heard the blow from the bench, we saw how he fell and we were afraid. We didn't know if that noise was Fernando's neck or not.

"They are unfortunate situations that happen in matches and we're hoping for the best for Fernando."

Deportivo's former West Bromwich Albion and Real Betis manager Pepe Mel had earlier seen his side take a surprise lead in his first game in charge when Florin Andone pounced on a terrible goal kick from Jan Oblak to score in the 13th minute.

Oblak mis-hit the ball and it was headed towards a surprised Jose Gimenez but Romanian forward Andone was more alert and intercepted before slipping the ball past the keeper.

Atletico's France international Griezmann levelled in the 68th after playing a one-two with Yannick Carrasco and calmly sending the ball spinning at speed over keeper German Lux. Meanwhile, third-placed Sevilla closed in on the top two after beating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at home on Thursday.

Jorge Sampaoli's side took the lead in the 14th minute when Stevan Jovetic's penalty was stopped by Gorka Iraizoz but Vicente Iborra was on hand to hit home the rebound.

The spot-kick came after Luciano Vietto had been brought down in the area by Xavier Etxeita and referee Daniel Ocon Arraiz pointed to the spot.

Raul Garcia nearly levelled at the other end but his header struck the post and stayed out, as the Basques fought their way back into the game.

Luciano Vietto came close to doubling Sevilla's lead but his header flew inches wide of goal after a free-kick was deflected back towards him, while a Garcia lob nearly helped the visitors level.

Athletic pushed for an equaliser but Sevilla survived to close the gap to leaders Barcelona to two points, while they are one behind Real Madrid who are in second.

- AAP