Ten games into his new Atleti career, Diego Simeone has finally suffered his first defeat.
The reigning champions of Spain, Europe and the world came to Madrid and beat us due to the brilliance of a certain Argentine.
Atlético played a good second half against Barcelona, but a magnificent goal by Lionel Messi decided the tie late on.
Diego Simeone didn’t hold back and played his strongest XI available, although Atleti did take a defensive approach to the game.
In the second minute there was a first scare for Atleti, when a shot by Xavi bounced just past the post. Just minutes later the fans at the Vicente Calderón breathed a massive sigh of relief as an early goal by Lionel Messi was disallowed because of a handball.
Atleti leaned back but were also threatening. Adrián arrived just too late when Víctor Valdés spilled a ball and Falcao was flagged offside after a clever backheel by Arda.
A beautifully struck free kick by Xavi was saved spectacularly by Thibaut Courtois.
Barcelona weren’t firing on all cylinders like they have in the past, but they controlled the game and took the lead after half an hour. Lionel Messi reached Fabregas on the left wing, who played a one touch pass for Dani Alves to slot into the back of the net.
Forced to crawl out of their shell, Atleti immediately responded, but Falcao arrived just too late for a cross.
At half time Diego Simeone must have inspired his men, because Atleti came out of the dressing room with attacking intent and forced a corner through Adrián. The ball was flicked on at the near post and Radamel Falcao latched onto it at the far post to volley home the equaliser.
The home crowd had been rocking all night and exploded when El Tigre struck for the 20th time this season.
After a ball had been played over the top for Falcao, the Colombian was flagged offside. Replays showed the linesman was wrong and Atleti were robbed off a clear cut chance to take the lead.
Atlético took over control of the match in the second half with Adrián as our catalyst. Miranda had a free chance from a corner, but couldn’t keep his header down.
At the other end Alexis couldn’t direct a header towards goal at all.
After Falcao won an aerial challenge against both Mascherano and Abidal, but was then stopped as Valdés rushed out of his goal. The ball came back into play and Puyol had to save Koke’s attempt off the goalline.
The linesman on Valdés’ side was in poor form tonight, as he made another wrong offside call going against Atleti, while Adrián was on by a clear margin.
Ten minutes before the end Atlético were caught sleeping. Lionel Messi asked the referee to take a free kick quickly and while Atleti were still organizing the wall, the Argentine hit the ball beautifully into the topcorner to make it 2-1.
Messi repeated his trick from our game at the Camp Nou in 2009 to score his 15th league goal versus Atleti, five more than against any other La Liga side.
There was a late chance for Diego Godín, but Valdés did well to rush out and stop the Uruguayan’s shot. A handball by Busquets had preceded the opportunity, but both the linesman and referee had missed the incident.
Far into the added time Gabi almost scored a heroic goal, but Valdés somehow managed to keep it out as Barcelona kept the score at 2-1.
Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe; Koke (“77 Salvio), Gabi, Tiago, Arda (“86 Sílvio); Adrián and Falcao.
Goals: 0-1 Alves (“36); 1-1 Falcao (“49); 1-2 Messi (“81)