Full Time:Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid

La Liga

Full Time:Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid

La Liga

04 mart 2018 Sunday 17:36
Full Time:Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid

So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona winning 1-0 courtesy of Messi's first-half free kick. The Catalan giants have moved eight points clear of second-placed Atletico in the table. 

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Atletico

90 min+3Time is running out for Atletico as we approach the final minute of added time here.

90 min+2Suarez just chips wide of the far post!

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes at Camp Nou.

89 minBarcelona have a free kick inside their own half as Hernandez handles the ball.

87 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Gameiro fires home for Atletico, but the whistle had been flown! Costa was offside in the build-up, and Barcelona survives a big moment here.

85 minBARCELONA SUB! Paulinho replaces Coutinho for the home side.

83 minStill a good 10 minutes of football to be played in this match and Atletico are having a lot of the ball in Barcelona's half of the field. The visitors just need that one half-chance to arrive here.

81 minCoutinho goes down inside the Atletico box, but the referee is not interested. Barcelona has certainly raised the tempo in the last few minutes as a response to Atletico's improvement.

79 minSAVE! Smart save from Oblak to keep out a volley from Busquets!

79 minMessi has one deflected over the Atletico crossbar from outside the box as the tempo continues to rise. I suspect that we are in for a very exciting final 10 minutes in this wonderful stadium.

77 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Suarez converts for Barcelona, but the forward is offside!

75 minATLETICO SUB! Lucas Hernandez replaces Luis for the away side.

74 minGriezmann strikes over the crossbar from just outside the Barcelona box.

73 minNothing much from Barcelona at the moment as Atletico continue to enjoy the ball.

71 minAtletico are preparing another change, with Lucas entering the field at any moment.

69 minKoke delivers a set piece into the Barcelona box, but Godin is adjudged to have fouled Pique. Still, more than 20 minutes of football remaining, and Messi's free-kick remains the difference.

67 minATLETICO SUB! game replaces Gabi for the away side.

67 minHalf-chance for Barcelona this time as Pique attacks a corner from the left, but Godin does well to make the block. Umtiti then rises to head the second corner over the Atletico crossbar.

66 minThomas, who is now playing right-back for Atletico, delivers a cross towards the far post, but Barcelona's goalkeeper is on hand to collect. The away side are the team on the front foot here.

64 minUmtiti does well to block a strike from Costa as Atletico continue to force the issue. The visitors then win a free kick in a wide area when Costa is felled by Umtiti. Much better game here.

62 minTer Stegen collects a header from Saul as Atletico threaten from a corner kick.

62 minPique has been struggling with a knee problem in recent weeks, and it appears that the issue is causing the center-back some concern once again. It will be very interesting to see whether a change is made here. Atletico, without doubt, is more threatening in the second half here.

59 minATLETICO SUB! Correa replaces Vrsaljko for the away side.

58 min... Messi's free-kick hits the top of the Atletico wall.

57 minBOOKING! Gimenez flattens Rakitic just outside the Barcelona box, and the home side has a free kick in a very dangerous area. Messi will step up once again here...

56 minCosta makes a dangerous run behind the Barcelona defense, but the offside flag is raised. It appears that Simeone could be making a change, with Correa going through a warm-up here.

54 minAtletico continue to enjoy the ball as Barcelona slow the tempo. Better from the visitors here.

52 minSaul slices the ball over the crossbar from just outside the Barcelona box.

51 minQuite sloppy from Barcelona in the early stages of the second period, which is inviting Atletico forward. You do get the feeling that Atletico needs to score the next goal if they are to stand any chance of getting back into this match. Messi's wonderful free-kick remains the difference here.

49 minNot an awful lot to report in the early stages of the second period, but Atletico have shown more willingness to break forward, which was lacking in the first half. It had to improve.

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind the second period develops here.

46 minRESTART! Barcelona resumes the action here...

STATISTICS! Barcelona dominated the first-half possession with 67%, while they had nine attempts - four of which were on target. Atletico, meanwhile, only managed one attempt off target in the first 45 minutes. Two yellow cards to report here - Messi for Barcelona and Vrsaljko for Atletico.

So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Barcelona leading Atletico 1-0 courtesy of a wonderful free kick from Messi. Barcelona has absolutely dominated this football match, with Atletico not having a single half-chance in the first 45 minutes. The visitors must improve!

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Barcelona 1-0 Atletico

45 min+1Just one additional minute at the end of the first period.

44 minPique's header from a corner sails over the Atletico crossbar.

44 minGodin is back to make up for his initial error, which had allowed Suarez to break into the Atletico box. Barcelona is really pressing for a second in the final stages of the first period here.

42 minCoutinho has been very impressive for Barcelona in the first 42 minutes of this match. Another half-chance arrives when Alba delivers a low cross towards Suarez, but Godin does well to make the clearance. Atletico really cannot afford to concede a second before the interval here.

40 minBarcelona again work the ball into the Atletico box, but Gomes can only deliver into the arms of Oblak; the midfielder seemed to get caught in two minds. Atletico is really struggling here.

40 minBarcelona have been by far the best team in this first period, and there is no question that they deserve to be ahead. Atletico has just not been able to deal with the home side's movement.

38 minSAVE! Oblak has to palm a Coutinho strike behind as the pressure continues!

36 minBARCELONA SUB! Iniesta cannot continue, and Gomes is on here.

35 minSAVE! Coutinho's strike brings a decent save from Oblak.

35 minWe have not seen anything from Costa and Griezmann in the first 35 minutes of this match. Atletico will always be in the match at 1-0, but a second for Barcelona would make it very difficult for the away side. The standout moment in the match thus far was that magic Messi free kick.

33 minCHANCE! Wonderful defending from Gimenez as the Atletico centre-back manages to slide and deny Suarez, who had pounced on a loose ball inside the away side's box!

Paul points out that Messi has the advantage before he’s even taken the free-kick, he says: “The problem with Messi’s free kicks is that his repertoire means the keepers cant move until they see it properly which is usually once its past the wall.”

32 min: Suarez breaks into the box and directs a shot at goal from 10 yards, but Gimenez blocks it and he complains that about the use of a hand, though the referee cares little for the protestations.

31 min: A yellow for Vrsaljko as he trips Suarez after the defender is turned by the striker. Been a few feisty challenges so it won’t be the last card.

29 min: Filipe Luis and Messi clash resulting in both hitting the deck. The Barcelona man looks hurt and is holding his ankle, while he’s on the floor he is booked for his efforts. Messi caught Luis with a late tap on the ankle, so it is all fair.

GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Atletico (Messi, 26)

24 min: Iniesta has jogged back on, which is a confident move for someone with a muscular issue. Maybe he is just trying to lure Atletico into a false sense of security. Atletico fail to clear the ball, which lands at the feet of Coutinho but he bottles shooting the first time and the visitors send it out for a corner.

22 min: Iniesta is down once again. Iniesta is just rubbing his hip in the hope of continuing. Actually, it looks like a hamstring problem. Game over!

21 min: Messi receives the ball 25 yards from goal, he is quickly surrounded by three Atletico players but somehow he flicks the ball between then all, spins to take it towards goal but his shot from 20 yards out was straight at Messi. How on earth did he beat all those men?

19 min: Iniesta is on the ground with a hip problem after challenging Saul for a header. The Barcelona man hit the ground hard after a big leap to beat his opponent to the ball. He gets up and is fine, which is a relief to all the home fans.

18 min: Diego Costa is flagged offside but it was very close. This is about as much as he’s done in the game so far. He will need to be patient today as Atletico do not look like they will be seeing much of the ball in the opposition half.

17 min: Two balls on the pitch! Whatever next?

15 min: Barcelona has had a couple of miss-placed in the last few minutes with Busquets and Messi the culprits of sending the ball nowhere near their team-mates. Barcelona are not rattled but they know they are in a game here.

13 min: Suarez is fouled on the edge of the box by Gabi after the Atletico man kicked the Uruguayan in the calf, giving Barcelona a free-kick on the left. Messi takes the set-piece but it goes straight into the wall.

10 min: Atletico Madrid will look to play on the break it seems. They are happy to let Barcelona have the ball for now. The visitors are working really hard while absorbing a lot of possession. Griezmann is doing his fair share of defensive work.

8 min: Iniesta lifts a straight ball into the box allowing Suarez to challenge Oblak but the referee’s whistle blows after some unconvincing working from the goalkeeper. It seems Suarez pushed Gimenez over in the build-up.

6 min: Barcelona is having all of the balls at the moment. A short corner is played into the box and after the odd ricochet ends up with Coutinho who has a shot which deflects towards the goal but Oblak reacts well and holds on.

5 min: It looks like Partey is playing as deep as he can without becoming an extra defender. His eyes are focused on where Messi is wandering and the midfielder will not let the Barcelona No 10 get too far from him. Iniesta looks up for this one and he will be key if Barcelona is going to win this one!

3 min: Vrsaljko gets in with a classic ‘you’re in a game foul’ on Iniesta he needless brings down the Spaniard when he tries to turn the defender near the halfway line.

Matt emails to ask: “I think the most pressing question on all of our minds is: what will you be having with your lamb? Roast potatoes, greens, a healthy helping of gravy, and a generous portion of mint sauce? Remember, there *are* wrong answers.”

Controversially, I have never been a huge fan of full roast dinners, it can all be a bit too much. So the lamb will be roasted in garlic and rosemary, which will then be served with some couscous, bejeweled with dried fruit, roast peppers, and herbs.

1 min: Here we go to the Nou Camp!

As for Atletico, there are no surprises in Diego Simeone's XI this afternoon. Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa will again start as the front two, with a narrow midfield including Koke, Saul Niguez, Thomas Partey and Gabi. Sime Vrsaljko is again preferred to Juanfran at right-back, while a strong bench includes Vitolo, Angel Correa and Kevin Gameiro. Both teams will play versions of a 4-4-2 here.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has made four changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Las Palmas on Thursday night. Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba return to the back four, while Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Rakitic are back in midfield. Lionel Messi will again join Luis Suarez as part of a front two, with Ousmane Dembele on the bench. The onus will be on Coutinho to make his mark in the number 10 area.

TEAMS!

BARCELONA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suarez

ATLETICO MADRID: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Luis; Saul, Thomas, Gabi, Koke; Griezmann, Cost

Updated: 04.03.2018 20:21
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