ATLETICO MADRID 1 VS 2 BARCELONA
FULL-TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 1-2 BARCELONA
Atletico lose out in the middle of the pitch, and this time it’s Neymar who breaks forward. The Brazilian does well to get himself into a promising position before, unsurprisingly, holding up the ball to win his side a throw-in. That should be that.
A half-hearted Atletico attacking move breaks down and allows Rakitic to fly forward. He charges down the right wing on an impressive run before trying to take on Gabi, but the midfielder comes out on top before spinning and kick-starting another late attack.
Atletico try to push forward from the restart as they desperately try to find a way back into the game, but they’re unable to do so with enough intensity and Barcelona are easily able to deal with the danger.
Goal Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini
GOAL! Messi has scored what could be the winner! A Barcelona free-kick is fired into the penalty area and bounces around dangerously. Umtiti brings the ball down well before teeing up Suarez, who then cuts the ball back to Messi. The Argentine’s first-time shot is initially well blocked by Savic before rolling back to Messi, who then pokes the ball past Oblak and into the back of the net.
Yellow card Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini
Almost a chance for Messi! Suarez breaks into the right-hand side of the Atletico penalty area before cutting a lovely pass back to Messi, but just as the Argentine is about to shoot, he loses out to a vital interception by Godin.
Neymar picks up possession in the middle of the pitch and immediately bursts forward, but he’s barged off the ball by Vrsaljko and wins Barcelona a free-kick in a promising position. It’s curled into the middle of the penalty area by Messi but is easily dealt with by the Atletico defenders.
Substitution Jérémy Mathieu>>
The resulting corner fails to find a Barcelona player in front of goal, but the Atletico defence are only able to clear the ball as far as Umtiti. The centre-back takes a quick touch before shooting, but, off balance, he sends it comfortably over the top of the crossbar.
Lovely save by Oblak! Messi steps up and curls a wonderful strike towards goal, but Oblak pulls off a brilliant diving stop to push the effort over the top of the crossbar.
Suarez battles with Savic just outside of the Atletico penalty area as the two try to reach a looping ball forward, and it’s the Uruguayan who comes out on top after being fouled by the centre-back, resulting in a free-kick for Barcelona in an incredibly dangerous position.
Vital interception by Ter Stegen! A looping cross is fired over to the far post and finds Carrasco in a pocket of space. The Belgian rises high and does well to meet the ball before nodding it down towards Koke, but Ter Stegen is there to dive in front of the ball at the last possible moment.
A high boot is raised and catches Griezmann, resulting in a free-kick for Atletico over on the left wing. It’s initially sent short before Koke curls a cross into the heart of the Barcelona box, and Ter Stegen is just about able to get a fist on the ball to punch it out for a corner over on the right flank.
Suarez scores, but it’s ruled out! Neymar, who has been Barcelona’s most dangerous player, sprints into the left-hand side of the penalty area before teeing up Messi. He quickly shoots but has his effort tipped into the path of Suarez by Jan Oblak, but the Uruguayan is penalised for a handball as he battles with both Oblak and Luis before nodding the ball into the back of the net from close range.
It initially looks as if Neymar is going to be able to hit Atletico on a dangerous counter-attack over on the left flank, but he’s unable to get the better of Savic and it’s the home side who counter quickly. They break forward immediately before a clever through-ball is slotted into the path of Gameiro, but the Frenchman’s run is slightly mistimed and the linesman’s flag is raised as a result.
Barcelona try to push into the Atletico half of the pitch as they attempt to alleviate the pressure being put on them, but they’re unable to do so and concede a free-kick on the halfway line. It’s fired forward and into the path of Vrsaljko, but it’s slightly overhit and Jeremy Mathieu is easily able to shepherd it out for a goal-kick.
Carrasco shows lovely footwork as he weaves his way into the left-hand side of the penalty area and towards the near post, but he’s put under pressure and has to settle for a corner. The set-piece is just about dealt with by the visitors before Carrasco tries to fly forward once again, but he’s too heavy-handed in his handling of Rafinha and concedes a free-kick
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