Champions League: Barcelona 1 – 1 Atlético

Thriller at Camp Nou undecided

Diego Ribas vs Barcelona

Diego scores the goal of the year (AS)

The Champions League tie between FC Barcelona and Club Atlético de Madrid is still wide open after the first leg at Camp Nou finished 1-1.

Atlético seemed to get away with a sneaky 1-0 win through a fantastic long ranger by Diego Ribas, but Neymar tied things up as Barcelona tried to take an advantage into next week’s return leg.

From the first till the very last moment the European cup clash between the two Spanish side was a spectacular and nerve-wracking battle, with Atlético coming out surprisingly offensively in the early goings. They pressured Barcelona on their own half and forced a number of errors, one of which almost lead to a goal by David Villa in the fifth minute, but the former Culé fired inches wide.

Atleti’s chances seemed to increase when Gerard Piqué had to leave the pitch injured, as Barça’s defensive trio of Pinto-Mascherano-Bartra appeared vulnerable on paper. But the Rojiblancos’ ambitions took a hit when Diego Costa came off in the first half too after pulling a hamstring. At this point it’s not clear how long our topscorer will be out.

Barcelona was shut down by Atlético’s defence, but a single lapse almost lead to Iniesta taking advantage. The midfielder’s shot was blocked by an amazing sliding tackle by Diego Godín who helped out his ‘keeper on the goal line.

In the added time of the first half David Villa nearly surprised the entire Barça defence, but Pinto was paying attention and managed to push the Asturian’s strike wide.

While the first half had been even, the second half was all Barcelona’s. But, against the run of play, it was Atleti who struck first. And how. In the 55th minute Diego received the ball in the centre of the pitch. He was forced wide as he avoided Xavi’s challenge, and then, out of absolutely nowhere, he blasted the ball into the topcorner from 35 meters out. The thunderstrike completely surprised the poor Pinto and earned Atleti an important away goal.

Barça almost immediately tried to strike back with a lovely attempt of their own, but Thibaut Courtois did well to stop Busquets’ shot from distance. Atleti, with a goal in their pocket, retreated and allowed Barcelona to push forward. They were led by the magnificent Andrés Iniesta, without a doubt the best player on the pitch on Tuesday night. In the 71st minute Iniesta played a perfect pass into the path of Neymar, who calmly slotted the ball past Courtois with the inside of his boot. The Brazilian has been the only Blaugrana player to score against Atlético in four games this season.

A few moments later Iniesta nearly added a second himself, but he was denied by Courtois. The Belgian ‘keeper single handedly kept his team in it as he made another spectacular save some minutes later to block Leo Messi’s free kick. It would be the game’s final moment as the match ended, for the 4th time this season, in a draw.

Next week Atleti will try to maintain their unbeaten record in the Champions League when they host the Catalans at the Vicente Calderón.

Barcelona Atlético
Barcelona 11 Atlético
Neymar 71'Diego 56'
Competition UEFA Champions League
Location Camp Nou
Date 01 April 2014
Kick Off 20:45 CET

Team Lineups

Barcelona
Pinto
Alves
Piqué (11')
Mascherano
Alba
Busquets
Xavi
Fabregas (68')
Neymar
Messi
Iniesta
Substitutes used
Bartra (11')
Alexis (68')
Atlético
Courtois
Juanfran
Miranda
Godín
Filipe
Arda (77')
Gabi
Tiago
Koke
Villa (70')
Diego Costa (30')
Substitutes used
Diego (30')
Sosa (70')
C. Rodríguez (77')

Match Stats

Possession
6634
Shots
124
On Target
62
Corners
81
Fouls
1624
Yellow Cards
26
Red Cards
00
  • jeronamo

    Good result, poor showing after going 1 up…. On to the next one, Villareal here we come and i hope Costa isn’t gone for too long

  • Will

    I sadly couldn’t follow any minute of this match… Did you miss any player for the next match due to suspension?

  • piserakos

    @will… No
    By the way, Pique out for 4 weeks… Hope we will see Costa really soon!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    empatar, empatar, empatar y volver a empatar !

  • anshary

    C’mon Atletico! Gua caya sama lu!

  • Kris

    Really Ahmad. Fourth time with a draw this season, hopefully the next match we meet, we finally win with a clean sheet.

  • Abdullah Karam

    Hello Atleti’s .. First congrats for us this Atleti
    2nd it was sad to see diego costa go out with injury @ this game & this time .. Courtios You F*** AMAZING man :)))) .. Diego Ribas your goal is just !!!!! I dont know how describe it :))))) .. Hole team is warriors thanks CHOLO from my heart i never seen atleti like this and im supporting atleti since 94 … And David Villa WTF u r doing man !!! His not the same villa we know !! Plz man step up for us and for your self !!
    Plz god diego costa is ok and can play next week :”(
    Aupa ATLETI im so proud of this team “WARRIORS” realy warriors

  • Urban

    Amazing night for our team. It is a great result and I think fair as well considering how the game looked like.

    However we must not get carried away since if milan was able o score at VC than FCB will also be capable of that.

    What worries me is:

    1) of course DC’s inury (hope he will be back soon)

    2) the fact that big teams expose Juanfran’s shortcomings in defensive play. He is good on the opposition half of the field and good enough in defence for average teams, but when we play with Barca or Real he seems to be the weakest link in our back line. And we have like no sub for him at all, since Manquillo is too young

  • Chewie

    Toby can replace him yet not fully. And I’m not sure he’d do better at holding Barca’s quick-footed players than Juanfran. I believe Costa’s presence is the most serious question. Without a true, strong and deadly striker we have little chances. Sorry, but Villa wasted such a great opportunity yesterday and lately he’s been not impressive at all. We need a worthier companion to the Beast.

  • Will

    CHEWIE said it all but I really think Villa, if playing in the exactly same position, with the exactly same attributions as Costa, can still play high quality football.
    Let’s wait a little while for Costa and talk about this later.. No update about him yet?

  • Urban

    Maybe it is a good sign that there is no confirmation of injury – maybe its something minor.

  • Brad

    I’m just hoping they pulled him so early because his injury was slowing him down and creating a drag on the team instead of a new or worse injury

  • Urban

    Diego Costa was interviewed on his way to the Fremap clinic and he said that he most likely will not play against Barca, which rules him out also of the game against Villarreal.

    I would rotate anyways against Villarreal, Juanfran, Gabi and one of our centre backs could use some rest. It is a risk but considering the yesterday’s result I dont think we can write off champions league just yet, and in such case we have to manage fitness of the first 11.

  • Kris

    I think Costa’s injury was rather a precaution than an injury. I think he will be fit for the Barca match. Not sure about when we play Villarrral tho. I really pray Costa is fine!!!Aupa Atleti!

  • Chewie

    The official site says Costa has a “hamstring injury”.

  • Chewie

    I can think of no one in our team to have similar skills to Costa’s. He’s a freaking beast both mentally and physically, plus he scores – we win.
    God damn, why can’t we for once come into the match of the season (so far) at full strength? Raul and Villa have to train extra hard and bring the best of their game, maybe we should let our AMs play farther in attack. Hope Simeone solves this riddle.

  • Will

    According to Marca, the Costa is already known. It’s a minor one and Diego Costa will be available for the match against Barça at Calderón.

    Wait and see..

  • Will

    *the Costa’s injury..

  • piserakos

    @Will…. He would be available, but Atleti don’t want to push him. So maybe he will lose the game

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    another scandal and another hit for Barcelona after Neymar case :
    they have been -and I quote from FIFA website- “sanctioned with a transfer ban at both national and international level for two complete and consecutive transfer periods” because they “have violated several provisions concerning the transfer of players under the age of 18”
    http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/organisation/news/newsid=2313003/index.html

    so, no new goalkeeper (they can’t register Ter Stegen despite signing him, the same case for Alen Halilović) no new defender
    they are stuck with Pinto & Mascherano for the next season

    and the Spanish Football Federation have been found guilty as well and being punished too

    I have no problem with Barca being corrupted, it’s their own business .. my problem is that they are trying to show the world that they are a club of principles and values while they are too far from that

    “més que un club” must be removed from the Camp Nou stands

  • Valinia

    Great to hear that costas injury n he will b available for the second leg.. But plssss dun rush him back as the injury can get worse.
    @urban gabis gonna rest cos hes suspended.. I agree tht we shud let some of or playes rest but not juanfran n a cb cannot rest tgt.. Javi is still injured n gimenez hasnt been playing for a long period. We only have toby who can play as either rb or cb. I think we shud rest either koke or arda, n tiago surely will not appear in the match v villarreal

  • Valinia

    Just realise a bug.. As gabi is suspended we only hv two dm in our squad, so tiago will not b able to rest.. Or cholo will use koke as a dm?

  • Ali

    @ahmed barca can appeal this decision! This transfer ban was also applied to chelsea back in 2010 and they Appealed it and the FIFA decision was overturned!

  • Valinia

    @chewie cant agree more abt villa.. He was one of the best strikers in the world but not now, his form is so unstable throughout the season, he just keep getting worse.. Im not blaming him for the draw, but he shud hv scored one of the great chances ytd, n other than the misses he could hardly make an impact during the game. Thought cholo wud hv started raul instead of him if rauls not suspended though

  • piserakos

    According to rumors Courtois will stay at least one more season at Calderon! The only thing we need to know is an official announcment and to learn if it is on loan, or if it is permanent.
    Hope it is truth

  • starvs

    I’m sick of fucking loaning Courtois, just buy him, the price is fucking irrelevant, he’s on pace to be the best ever.

  • Will

    I go with STARVS. Our young giant is a rock in our defense. He saved us from losses like no other keeper in the world would IMO. I’m a big fan of him (I will watch Belgium x Ruasia in the World Cup only because of him). I can’t remember another keeper so safe at his age.. and we can start counting from 3 years ago. The guy will be unstoppable when he’s 30.

    Not sure if he is willing to stay permanently.

  • Urban

    I still think that our good defensive record should be credited to our back line. Dont get me wrong, TC is great but IMHO it will be easier to replace him than Godin and Miranda. For a fraction of 30 mln we can buy a keeper who can do us 80% of the job TC is doing.

    Furthermore:

    1) we cannot buy him – no matter the cost – because Chelsea does not want to sell him and he is still (i have more and more trouble with understanding this) focused on playing for Chelsea one day

    2) even if they would be interested in the deal we cannot afford to pay 30 mln for a goalie. With that kind of money you can buy 3 top class or 2 world class players to the field and sell both of them in a couple of years for twice the money, and this is what we should be doing.

  • Chewie

    He’s a smart kid, he’ll stay with us till Cech’s retirement if things go well – i.e. we play in the CL and stay among the top 3 in the league – then he’ll move to Chelsea for it’s a bigger club in terms of prestige and money. The olny thing is – Cech is not even close to retirement so Tibu’ll have to make a grown-man decision.

    To stay or not to stay – that is the question.
    To join Mourinho’s flock or stay with colchoneros
    Whose ruthless chief is on a hunt for rivals’ scalps for e’er.

  • Dircil

    30 mil for Courtois? I think we can pay 15m for Ter Stegen who is equally as good as Courtois is and the thing is Barca is in trouble with their financial and transferring problem in the next season, so they cant make any transfer for Stegen. Courtois is good but his mind is not at Atletico. Paying 30m for a GK is a ridicule and we will be the first club to break the record of paying the most for a GK. I oppose the idea of buying Courtois at such price!!!

  • Pantic#10

    Bad news: we and Real Madrid are under investigation for the same barca-transfer issue…
    Just read it on main newspapers.

  • farhan

    how the hell we…
    we have not even buy any expensive player..!!!!!

  • Pantic#10

    Anyway, i read the news more carefully…and for now it’s only a rumour..nothing official so far.

  • ali_

    farhan: they investigating the young players’ transfers not the first team transfers

  • Ali

    Congratulation! We got angel correa! Now we have to face a battle with our nieghbours for rakitic and I’m pretty sure courtois will stay! And a new left-back is required! And we don’t need ter Stegen if courtois leaves! Keylor navas is way better then ter Stegen!

  • Kris

    ALI any sources of the Correa signing? Where did you read about that? I am HOPEFUL Courtois stays. Other goalkeepers may be able to do. 80% of what Courtois does but the other 20% could, might as well cost us games. And yes a left back to sub Filipe is needed…. Bad… I don’t think Insua can cut it.

  • Ateltico9

    Ivan Rakitic would be our most important signing if we already close the courtios deal! I would also love to see El Nino back in our shirt! And keep the rest of our squad. Then we can play in all 3 tournaments next season again.

  • valinia

    @atletico9 i doubt sevillas gonna sell rakitic since hes the captain n one of the best players in the club. I would love to see el niño back but tht salary.. I dun think the club would keep two high paid players (who i doubt will b part of the regular starters) so if we buy el niño, villas gonna leave

  • Ali

    @kris I read a newspaper in which San Lorenzo president confirms that correa will join atletico!

  • Ali

    And also insidespanishfootball.com confirms the statement from San Lorenzo vice-president!

  • Ali

    And also insidespanishfootball.com confirms the statement from San Lorenzo vice-president! http://www.insidespanishfootball.com/103059/tinelli-correa-wants-to-play-for-atletico-its-all-been-discussed/

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I can’t understand why are you so excited about having Courtois for another season ?!
    if the reports are true and he will renew his contract with Chelsea and stay one more season with Atleti so we have lost him forever
    we were waiting for him to refuse to renew his contract -which expires at 2016- so either Chelsea will be forced to sell him to us or we would wait until 2016 and get him for free, just like the case of Diego Ribas
    so, for me, this is a bad news

    but what about this crazy idea : in the summer of 2015 when Courtois leaves forever, let’s make a bid for Cech !
    why not, it will be a good solution for the Chec-Courtois problem that Chelsea have
    Thibaut is better than Chec and deserves to be Chelsea no. 1 GK, but Chec is too good to set on the bench, and he must not make the same mistake Casillas did, he has to leave, he deserves to play in one of the biggest clubs in the world, and Atletico Madrid is one of those

    just crazy dreams .. but who knows, maybe it will become a reality !!

    or what about a less crazy talking :
    why not take an advantage of Barca transfer ban and buy Ter Stegen
    (although I have no idea about him, I’ve never seen a single match for him)

    Anyway, we have to work from now on signing a world-class Goalkeeper PERMANENTLY, because we can’t keep loaning Courtois forever, and if this is not his last season on-loan with Atleti, the next one will definitely be

  • Abdullah Karam

    @AHMAD .. I am with u man its a bad news for me 2 cuz we gonna lose him 4 ever and if he want to stay with us as a lone so dont bring him back cuz we have a good chance to buy Ter Stegan and i saw a couple games for him and he is good , not as Courtios but he is a good golie with a leader persenaloty like Oliver Kahn .. 2nd We must use our champion league profit to double Diego Costa Salery and keep him for long and strength our depth with a good quality players ,, i think we need a left fullback , DM , and a damn quality player to rotate him with arda and koke , and of course a Forward and Angel Correa is a good player in my opinion to play with Diego Costa ..
    So we must be very carefuly and buy the player according to uor priorities

  • Abdullah Karam

    So if we bring courtios as a lone we gonna a have a good amount of money to build our team this year with having courtios one more year AHMAD its a bad thing and a positive thing also 🙂 .. Any team in the world like to be a strong team for a sevral years IS ” MAINTAINS ITS STARS ” 🙂 .. The true battle would be for our manegment is how to keep :
    1- Cholo
    2- All important players
    3- strength this squad
    And i belive they gonna do a great job Inshallah
    Aupa Atleti ^^

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… Agree with you… Let’s listen to me… I read a rumor before a month ago that Atleti offered Levante about 4 mill for Navas, if they refused we would take him on free next summer… So maybe, i say maybe, this is what happened. We will have Courtois for one last year and after that Navas.
    About Cech.. Agree with you. If Chelsea will keep Courtois, will sell Cech. He is not that young and i don’t think his cost would be too big. Why not try to take him?

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    remember when I said few days ago that Gabi is better than Mario & Tiago together,
    well, here is a proof with numbers
    an interesting report about UCL top 50 hardest workers (in terms of the space covered)

    http://www.givemesport.com/450399-top-50-hardest-working-players-in-the-champions-league

    our captain is number 3 on the list with 104,946 meters (or about 105 kilometers)
    while none of Mario or Tiago are on the list, but I must mention that while Gabi did not miss any minute in the 9 games we played this season, Tiago has played 4 games and Mario has played 3
    but I believe that if they played all the 9 games they wouldn’t even come close to Gabi’s number

    unsurprisingly, 3 other Atleti players made the list :
    Miranda (28th), Juanfran (17th) and Koke (7th)
    while Godin & Filipe didn’t make it, but it’s understandable as each of them missed 3 games of the competition

    #WoriorsOfSimeone

  • ali_

    ALI: did u even read that article?
    http://www.insidespanishfootball.com/103059/tinelli-correa-wants-to-play-for-atletico-its-all-been-discussed/

    “For those that want him, Atletico is the most important club, BUT NOTHING HAS BEEN SIGNED YET. “

  • piserakos

    @ahmad.. Yeah, i was too busy to anwer to your comment… Gabi is our captain… He is not that talented and he is not this fancy star, but he does all the hard work… All the times he doesn’t play we have problems.

  • pantic#10

    those numbers about Gabi are impressive.
    So proud of our captain. he’s a symbol of hard work and professionalism.
    a true leader.

  • Ali

    @other ali I said I read an argantinion newspaper! I don’t read that article from spanish football I just read its headline and paste it over here! In newspaper they confirmed that deal is done and paper work needs to be signed which will happen when transfer window re-opens!

  • Ali

    And according to Croatian newspaper rakitic has a verbal agreement with US but we have to face competition from our neighbours and liverpool!

  • Jelle

    How good is angel correa? Anybody who had watch a game with him? Yes, I can see at YouTube that he’s got some skills, but how good is he? 🙂

  • Chewie

    You can get a general idea about him from these articles:
    http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/thescoutsnotebook/id/1066?cc=5739
    http://outsideoftheboot.com/2014/01/26/angel-correa-scout-report/#

    Seems to suit our team ideally – quick, explosive, good crosser etc. Though he will need to work on his stamina and overall fitness. But with Simeone and Ortega guiding him that’s not really a problem. Also there’s always an example of two of the hardest runners in Europe – Koke and Gabi.

  • Will

    I watched a match from San Lorenzo against my Botafogo in Libertadores and Correa was such a regular player. We will play against him again next week I will bring an update.

  • Jelle

    Okay. Thank you guys. Have to be carefull with some of the players from the South America. There’s a huge step to european football. 🙂

  • Farzad from Iran

    yea , this is our atletic