Atlético showed their serious candidacy for the league title after beating Barcelona in a match decided by Carrasco just before the break. Simeone finally managed to defeat the Barça team in LaLiga and the victory gives Atleti wings. The opposite effect produces in a Barcelona that sees how the rojiblancos put nine points ahead. The unfortunate news of the game was Piqué’s injury.
Barcelona loaded their game down the right wing where Dembélé gave Hermoso and Carrasco headaches. Simeone placed the Belgian as a false left back and Hermoso helped Savic and Giménez in the center of the defense. Curious picture of Carraso defending against a footballer like Dembélé. Carrasco was never characterized by being especially dedicated in defense, but he had to put on his overalls from the start. Atlético, meanwhile, wanted to enter from the right, with Marcos Llorente imposing speed in the last meters. The game started fast, had a few minutes where the game got tempered and the first half ended with Carrasco’s goal. An action in which the Belgian showed his great tactical level. And in which Correa once again served as an assistant. It seems that it is not there but it always appears.
The start was encouraging for the fans. Griezmann, Saúl and Marcos Llorente were able to score in the first minutes. Simeone took the gamers out and Koeman put Pedri on, leaving Coutinho on the bench. Cholo wanted the ball to be outside Barcelona, but the Barça team barely found spaces to penetrate. Atlético always feels comfortable when it comes to defending and Barcelona attacked from the right, from the left, from the center … Both teams had little notice of their figures: neither Messi nor João Félix were decisive in the game. When the visiting team printed some speed they found a loophole. Messi had it just before the break, but Oblak won this time. The first serious mistake of the match was by Piqué and it cost Barcelona a goal against. In such close matches the small details can decide them.
The fairest thing would have been a draw, but Atlético found the prize they were looking for just when it came to half-time. Carrasco’s goal, star in the previous match between both teams played at the end of June, conditioned the development of the second half. It gave Atlético poise and Barcelona understood that the 1-0 left them very touched in the championship. Simeone’s team wanted to keep the ball, have long possessions … without giving up the backlash.
The luck that at other times was elusive to Atlético smiled at the rojiblanco team this time as Lenglet finished off with his head at the hands of Oblak when the tie was already sung. Moments later came the play in which Piqué had to leave the field of play. Correa fell on him and the Barcelona defender left before the deathly silence of the Wanda Metropolitano. It was impressive to see the great Barça center-back almost crying out of the rojiblanco fiefdom. Piqué is not just another footballer. Neither for Barcelona nor for Spanish football.
Barcelona saw the need to rebuild their pieces while Atlético saw themselves with more and more confidence. Those of the Cholo knew that if they had no big mistake, the game would be theirs. Perhaps it is the big difference between this Atleti and that of other exercises because the Madrid team had possession and the game was more 2-0 than 1-1.
So that the match did not lack anything, Diego Costa entered, in his last battle against Barcelona in LaLiga in the rojiblanco fiefdom. Messi threatened a foul with ten minutes remaining. But the scare passed. The match ended in the Atlético area, with the rojiblancos defending tooth and nail a victory that is essential for the future of the championship.
Coutinho (56 ‘, Pedri), Sergiño Dest (61 ‘, Piqué), Diego Costa (72 ‘, Marcos Llorente), Trincão (82 ‘, Griezmann), Braithwaite (82 ‘, Pjanić), Lemar (83 ‘, João Félix), Kondogbia (83 ‘, Correa), (90 ‘, Sergi Roberto), Felipe Monteiro (90 ‘, Carrasco)
Referee: José Luis Munuera Montero
VAR Referee: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Koke (8 ‘, Yellow) Carrasco (25 ‘, Yellow) Savic (78 ‘, Yellow) Gimenez (79 ‘, Yellow