A late equaliser from substitute Juanfran earned Atletico Madrid a draw in a hard-fought Europa League clash against Rennes at the Route de Lorient stadium.

The winger levelled the scores in the 87th minute to earn a point for the 2010 UEFA Cup winners after Victor Montano's second-half strike looked to have given Ligue 1 side Rennes the win.

Juanfran's goal also saved Atletico from suffering only their second loss against French opposition in their history, their only previous defeat coming against Lens in the UEFA Cup fourth found in March 2000.

The home side started to dominate early, with Julien Feret forcing a save out of Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with an inswinging free-kick in the 19th minute.

Rennes enjoyed most of the possession in the first half but failed to convert their chances, with Jires Ekoko seeing one effort go wide in the 35th minute.

Montano then had a shot blocked by Courtois on the stroke of half-time as the Red and Blacks battled to break down the Primera Division outfit.

The home side needed just 11 minutes of the second half to take the lead however, with Montano finding the top-left corner of the net from 20 yards out, although there was a slice of luck involved.

The striker played a one-two with Stephane Dalmat after the midfielder broke down the left, giving Montano the chance to fire in a shot that beat Courtois with the help of a big deflection off defender Alvaro Dominguez.

That looked set to be the match-winning strike as Atletico, even with the prolific Radamel Falcao in their ranks, found themselves still trailing heading into the closing minutes.

However, there was a late twist in the tale as Juanfran, who had only come on seven minutes previously for Arda Turan, fired into the roof of the net from inside the box to make it 1-1.

Salvio provided the cross from the right wing, and Juanfran did enough to wrong-foot home goalkeeper Benoit Costil and draw Atletico level.

The visitors survived a scare when Jonathan Pitroipa almost stole a late winner for the home side, but Courtois blocked his 90th-minute attempt to keep the teams level.

The draw leaves Atletico top of Group I with four points from two games, the same as Udinese, while Rennes and Celtic each have one point.