Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday night to go three points clear at the top of the La Liga standings.
The Catalan side would be overjoyed with the result as they took full advantage of arch-rivals and defending Champions Real Madrid slipping up against Villarreal on Saturday.
Barcelona make a fast start
It was a quick start from Barcelona and the away side could have had the lead in the 3rd minute had Ansu Fati’s low shot inside the box not been brilliantly blocked by Stefan Savic.
Pablo Barrios tested Marc-Andre Ter Stegen minutes later with a 25-yeard-effort as it was end to end stuff in a frantic opening.
The away side settled into the game with their possession-based approach and Fati was once again denied in the 9th minute this time by Jose Jiminez who made a last-ditch block to prevent a certain opening goal on the night.
Xavi’s men did get the breakthrough goal in the 21st minute when Ousmane Dembele finished off a delightful move. Pedri started the move in midfield with a darting move before passing on to Gavi which the latter laid into the path of Dembele who stroked a fine finish low into the left corner of Jan Oblak’s goal.
Pedri should have scored Barcelona’s second of the night when he received a gift of a back pass from Jiminez but his attempt to scoop the ball into the net was pushed away by Oblak.
Atletico were kept at bay by Ter Stegen who brilliantly kept Antoine Griezmann’s rising shot right at the stroke of half time.
Atletico miss chances
The home side were better of the two sides after the interval and should have tied the game in the 54th minute but Griezmann shot way over from just eight yards out. Dembele then hit the post in the 61st minute with the game still being at 1-0.
Both Savic and Ferran Torres were sent off in stoppage time after grabbing each other off the ball and then wrestling in the scuffle. In the dying stages of the game, Ronald Araujo brilliantly cleared Griezmann’s low shot off the line as Barcelona held on for a crucial 1-0 win on the night.
Barcelona lead the standings with 41 points from 16 games while Atletico are fifth 14 points behind.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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