La Liga: Barcelona 4 – 1 Atlético

Barcelona overcome strong start by Atlético

Barcelona players celebrate the win over Atletico

Barcelona's trio of goalscorers (AS)

Atlético Madrid were well prepared, focused and aggressive in their first half against Barcelona. It was a battle between la Liga’s top teams and with Real Madrid again dropping points, the Rojiblancos were seemingly the only team capable of keeping up with the Catalans.

On Sunday night for half an hour Atlético showed why they are currently Barça’s biggest rivals, but right when everything seemed to be going our way it all came falling down. Two goals at the end of the first half and then another brace by Messi in the second turned the match in Barcelona’s favour.

Atleti started the game strongly and pressured Barcelona on all parts of the pitch. This led to an early chance for Radamel Falcao, who hit the post from Koke’s cross from the right.

Koke and Falcao again combined when the midfielder took a free kick quickly and launched the Colombian, but our topscorer lost his footing and aimed wide.

But the third time was indeed the charm for Falcao, who received the ball from Diego Costa on his own half and then sprinted all the way to Valdés’ goal. El Tigre scored his 20th goal of the season by chipping the ball over the goalkeeper to give Atleti a completely deserved lead.

Barcelona’s stars had been succesfully shut out by Atlético, but after the goal the Colchoneros foolishly dropped deeper and allowed the Culés to tie the score. There was little stopping Adriano however, as the left footed right back cut inside to launch an unstoppable strike that bounced off the crossbar and into the topcorner.

Shortly before the break Barcelona increased the pressure and won a serie of corner kicks. One of the crosses, in the final minute of the half, landed before Sergio Busquets, who kept his calm and scored from close range to give Barça the lead from only their second attempt on target.

Atlético’s entire team had been compact and the players did well to step out and win the ball, but in the second half the players seemed tired and unable to break Barcelona’s spells of possession.

After an hour of play Diego Simeone decided to make an offensive substitution, which immediately backfired. The coach took off Mario Suárez for an extra forward and moments later Barcelona struck again. Without the extra holding midfielder, Messi was allowed to run at the defence and the Argentine scored an amazing goal from outside the area.

With two goals between them, the home team took their foot off the gas without ever giving up the ball. Barça created another opportunity ten minutes before the end, which was saved very well by Courtois after Iniesta’s shot took a deflection.

In the final minutes of the game Lionel Messi was gifted another goal after an incredible mistake by Diego Godín and the current Pichichi beat Courtois for his 90th goal of the calendar year.

Line-up: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe (“46 Cata Díaz); Koke, Gabi, Mario (“57 Adrián), Arda; Diego Costa (“60 Tiago) and Falcao.

Goals: 0-1 Falcao (“31); 1-1 Adriano (“36); 2-1 Busquets (“45); 3-1 Messi (“58); 4-1 Godín (“88)

  • Matthijs

    I am proud of the team. Barca created zero open chances! But as we all know, individually they are a lott stronger and their possesion is way better. Not a shame! We know that Barcelona is from another planet. Don’t worry guys. Vamos Atleti

  • ratchet

    Im sorry, but for how many years are we just gonna accept heavy losses, because they wasnt deserved? At the end of the day, we lost, again, and with only 30 good mins to show for it. We’re never gonna close the massive gap on the top 2 if we only stay competitive for 30 mins, and then say we were unlucky, or it wasnt to be or something. Its yet another loss to Barca, and that is all.

  • Sinan

    Very poor peformance by Atletico. Even at the score of 1-3 they didin’t had any offensive intentions, defending was all they did…

    I saw Cordoba against Barca, and what a big diffrence.. They kept pushing forward, and had good pressure on Barca… Thats the way they should do it.. Like the 1st goal of Atletico…

  • Jorge

    Well, I like Juanfran, but he just had a forgettable night. Godín’s awfulness really is nothing new. It looked like our entire back line was comprised of Perea clones.

  • Lubo

    @Jorge, I disagree with you on how bad our backline was. I think we played well at the back. Sure, Godin’s clown-like mistake isn’t anything new, but the first half showed that our 1st team (with Cholo at the helm) can match anyone. The substitution of Filipe and even more Mario, left us wondering about new backup DM (Tiago please, leave). Mario played a perfect match, keeping Messi still, didn’t allowed him to do anything and his substitution was a turnaround from my point of view. Mario in his current form should be considered for La Roja, he’s only 25 years old and tactically perfect. Considering that good DM’s have their prime around 30’s…
    Of course Barca is better team, they are in an incredible form, but this match could have been decided after 30 mins, if Falcao scored from his chances. If we’ll maintain our form during the spring, I don’t think we should be afraid of neither Real or Barca facing them at the Calderón. Now let’s hope, Cholo will sign a contract extension. Aupa…

  • I have one question. Why when we have a big game, Filipe Luis has to get injured and then this pathetic Cata Diaz has to replace him?
    Cata Diaz played as though he was sleeping during the second half. The amount of times he allowed alexis sanchez and iniesta past him. What an ass! We need a good defender this winter transfer window.

    The first half was good but i think we just switched off after the goal. The 4th goal was a mess. There shouldn’t eve be a 3rd and fourth goal because if no one was marking messi and the godin error and like Lubo said if we had take all our chances in the early exchanges we couldv’e have this game in the bag.

    I am proud of my Atleti! we dominated Uefalona for 30 minutes at the Camp Nou which is a hard thing to so so well done. and we are not title challengers, we are still trying for champions lage football next season.

    Aupa Atleti!!

  • Oh lord I am terribly sorry for my horrible English.

  • Adam

    Its a shame for Atleti that after the goal for Falcao Barca scored so soon, but as a football fan you knew that Barca would win the game, like you knew that Real would win the derby the gap in spain is or was like Scotland 2 teams can win la liga the others fight for 3rd and as long as clubs like Atleti consider selling top players the gap will remain the same, Atleti have been super this season but in 2 games that mattered they lost,

  • AtleticoPhilly

    It is a strange result. On one hand, Barcelona is clearly on another level. Both Mourinho and Simeone seemed to admit as much in their post-game interviews.

    On the other hand, the loss seems to have exposed a few weaknesses. The consensus seems to be that we could use a player better than Cata Diaz, and it might be possible to find someone better for Tiago’s role.

    Or, we could also say: get well soon, Cebolla! In my opinion, he is missed.

  • Jorge

    @Lubo, I’m not saying our backline is always awful, but Pique all alone in the box, Godin’s back heel, the space we gave Messi on his first goal…I don’t know, once we lost our shape in the back (see: 35′), we never regained it.