Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona game yet again acted as a catalyst to prove why Laliga is one of the best leagues in the world, if not the very best. It was a mixture of typical Laliga action with some sorts of typical Premier League counter-attacking football from both sides as a bit of rain helped the ball to move forward more quickly than normal conditions. The difference-maker, however, was Lionel Messi as usual.
Barcelona started the game with their conventional 4-3-3 with Messi Suarez and Griezmann at the frontline. Rakitic, De Jong and Arthur started in the midfield together for the very first time.
Atletico started the game with 4-4-2 surprisingly with Saul at back in the left flank and with Felix, Partely coming back, Simeone’s men were much more dominant than Barcelona in the first 20 minutes.
Firpo nearly scored within the first quarter-hour of the game but in the net of the wrong side. Thanks to Barca’s guard between the sticks, that Barcelona didn’t concede in the first half. An early shot by Hermoso from a wonderful pinpoint cross by Felix was wonderfully saved by MATS followed by another sublime heading by Morata from a dangerous corner that was swept by MATS.
It was after about half an hour that Barcelona started to gain their rhythm when Arthur, with his great vision, gave the long ball to Roberto but couldn’t get the productive conclusion he was aiming for. Barcelona were commanding with 64% possession but the conversion was awful.
Barcelona started the second half from where they had left in the first half with much more superiority but once again finishing was the real problem. Arthur was subbed off for Vidal so as to help Messi on the attack and help the backline in defence. Pique collided with Vitolo and was subbed out for Umtiti. It was get going with 0-0 draw and suddenly Messi pulled another memorable night with his first-ever Goal in Wanda Metropolitano in 86 min from Suarez’s stunning assist, which made the spectators in the stadium to chant Messi’s name all the way towards the end.
With a narrow victory over Madrid, Barcelona are now the table toppers with 31 points in 14 games and Atletico demoted to 6th position.
Stat and records:
– Today was Lahoz 5th games out of the last 7 games officiating Barcelona VS Atletico at Madrid.
– Barcelona are unbeaten in Laliga Against Los Rojiblancos in the last 19 games with 14 wins and 5 draws.
– Barcelona beat Atletico in Wanda for the first time and Messi scored his first goal in the very stadium. Messi has scored 30 goals against Atletico which is highest against Atletico by any player in their 116 years of history.
– Suarez gave his first assist in Laliga yesterday in the last 18 games. Out of the last 7 assists, Suarez has assisted Messi 6 times.
– Last 10 Liga fixtures between Atleti and Barça at Atletico’s home: 7 Barça wins 3 draws 0 Atleti wins
– Simeone is yet to register win VS Barcelona in Laliga. Wanda is the 38th Laliga stadium in which Messi has scored, the most by any player. Messi has scored at least once against Atletico in 13 of the last 14 seasons. (The exception: 2013/2014, in which he did score but Lahoz wrongly denied his Liga title winner.)
– In each of the last 5 Atleti-Barça Liga games at Atletico’s stadium, Barcelona have scored in the last 15 minutes of the game. 9 of Messi’s last 13 goals vs Atleti were scored after the 75th minute.
– Messi has faced 9 Atleti Goalkeepers, he has scored against each and every one of them: Oblak-8 goals, Courtois- 6, De Gea-4, Coupet-4, Cuellar-2, Roberto-2, Moya-2, Abbiati-1, Leo Franco-1.
– Messi has scored in 21 games against Atletico among which Barcelona has won 20 games.