Lionel Messi once again comes as the saviour for Barcelona on Sunday night’s match between La Liga rivals, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. The Argentine forward’s late winner lifted the Catalan side to register a hard-fought victory and, most importantly, returned to the top of the table.
Despite its poor performance in most of the first half, Barcelona still managed to dominate Atletico who tried to press Barca as high as possible. The Barca midfield couldn’t live up to expectations of its superiority. They made many bad passes which left the Barca defence pushed to the rescue. A couple of brilliant saves by Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen saved the Catalan side from further embarrassment.
Barca gradually grew into the match after first 35 minutes and managed to make three chances. However, Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique couldn’t capitalize on those chances as the match went goalless into halftime.
Barca looked in form in the second half with better possession and passing. They were in all-attack mood in the second-half as 10 of their outfield players went into Atletico’s half at one time. Although, apart from some long-range shots, the Catalans couldn’t really create any proper chances. In the last 20 minutes, Atletico looked lively once again and nearly got their goal when Koke took a shot that was impeccably cleared by Sergi Roberto.
Lionel Messi’s goal came when it looked like the match was headed for a goalless draw. Messi made a brilliant run into the Atletico box, played a one-two with Luis Suarez and scored the late winner for his team.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué (Umtiti 83’), Lenglet, Firpo; Arthur (Vidal 73’), Rakitic, De Jong; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Goal: Messi (86’)
Atlético: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Saúl; Correa (Lemar 73’), Herrera (Lodi 87’), Thomas, Koke; Morata, João Félix (Vitolo 66’)