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Atletico 2-0 Barcelona: Match Review

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Barcelona took on Atletico Madrid in what was a crucial encounter from the League standings point of view. Both sides had not had the best of starts to the domestic season, though the Catalans clearly had the worse start.

Barcelona entered the game off the back of a humiliating 3-0 loss to Benfica in the Champions League while the hosts were fresh off a famous win over AC Milan. The game ended with Simeone’s side taking all three points, and Barcelona coming under further pressure in their horror season.

First Half

The visitors were good off to a start on the right foot when Gerard Pique tried to coordinate with young Gavi from just outside the area. However, Diego Simeone’s defense was on point from the get-go.

Oscar Mingueza started his night rather poorly after an ugly challenge in the fifth minute. The youngster was let go cheaply by the referee.

The first big moment in the game came ten minutes after kickoff. Thomas Lemar drifted from the centre to the edge of the box before taking a shot. The bullet of a shot was just inches away from the target.

Atletico Madrid dominated the next ten minutes if proceedings as they pushed numbers in attack. Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar combined to create trouble in the Barcelona box. In the 17th minute, the latter provided the Portuguese protege with a wonderful chance that went begging.

Yannick Carrasco joined the party in the attack a few minutes later when he took a wonderful shot from distance. The freekick went inches above the crossbar.

Atletico Madrid reaped the rewards of their attacking efforts in the 23rd minute. Luis Suarez combined wonderfully with Lemar to set up the winger, who curled the ball past ter Stegen.

Phillipe Coutinho missed a chance in the rebound almost immediately after the opener. El Pistolero continued his stellar night against his former club with a huge chance in the 29th minute.

The 32nd minute provided Barcelona with a wonderful chance when Depay tried to tee up with his international teammate Frenkie de Jong. However, the pass was overweighted.

Ronald Araujo was lucky to not go into the book for his challenge in the 38th minute. However, the game only went further downhill for the visitors.

Luis Suarez rubbed salt in Barcelona’s wounds in the 45th minute. This time, Los Rojiblancos demonstrated a perfect lethal counterattack. Lemar was the creator this time around and found the Number 9 free on the other side. Suarez calmly worked his way past ter Stegen and slotted the ball into the net.

The Catalans headed into the halftime break two goals down, and a difficult and improbable comeback away from a famous win.

Second Half

Ronald Koeman made one change at half-time, Nico Gonzalez made way for Sergi Roberto in midfield.

The opening minutes of the second period were balanced. No chances are created by either side, but there was intent. Phillippe Coutinho had a fo at goal in the 53rd minute but had it saved.

Three minutes later, Carrasco charged at the Barcelona goal, but was immediately challenged by Araujo. He went down, but was denied the penalty. Minutes later, Ansu Fati replaced Coutinho in the attack.

The 66th minute brought big chances for both sides. Frenkie de Jong could not make the most of Memphis Depay’s chipped pass. At the other end of the field, Luis Suarez combined with Joao Felix in sublime fashion. However, the Portuguese international could not finish.

Fati’s lovely dribble was harshly put to an end by Simeone’s side. The resultant freekick was taken by the new number 10 but was well wide of the target.

The hosts then made changes as Antoine Griezmann replaced Luis Suarez. Barcelona enjoyed a spell of possession, but no real chances came out of it

The 75th minute was witness to two more substitutions for Koeman’s side. Riqui Puig and Luuk de Jong came on for Gavi and Oscar Mingueza respectively.

Gerard Pique challenged Jan Oblak with a header in the 79th minute, but it was an easy save for the goalkeeper.

The final ten minutes presented a spell of possession for the Catalans. The shifting of Ansu Fati to the right-wing after Luuk de Jong’s introduction sizzled out the firepower in attack. A freekick chance 5 minutes from time was put over the crossbar by Memphis.

Barcelona’s final change came in the 85th minute when Clement Lenglet came on to replace Sergino Dest at left-back. It was a puzzling choice, given that Jordi Alba was fit and available on the bench.

Ronald Araujo initiated a potent attack in the 87th minute. However, Roberto’s cross was horribly overhit.

Three minutes were added on at the end of regulation time. However, nothing could be achieved in the three minutes that Barcelona couldn’t do in the 90. The game ended in a 2-0 defeat for Barcelona, and a second consecutive game without scoring a goal.

I’ve watched football for years, but never again felt that special tug that I experienced when I watched Barcelona play for the first time. What started off as just a little inquisitiveness on Quora, ultimately developed into a magnificent passion for writing articles. The best part: You never stop learning in football; and it never ceases to amaze you.

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