March 05, 2018

Messi magic sends Barca 8 points clear


Barcelona continued their unbeaten run against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, as they made it 16 games without losing to their main title rivals this season. A Lionel Messi free-kick gave them a 1-0 win that widens their lead over Diego Simeone’s side to eight points.

Barcelona dominated the first half, keeping the visitors pinned in their own half for the majority of the period. Atletico, who only managed one shot (off target), didn’t get anywhere near scoring, as Barca controlled the ball, recording 67% possession at HT. The home side had a handful of chances, but took the lead halfway through the first 45 through some typical magic from their talisman Leo Messi.

- Messi magic -

The Argentinian was brought down by Thomas Partey 25 yards out, and proceeded to curl a peach of a free kick past Jan Oblak in the 25th minute, bringing his career total to 600. He demonstrated moments of magic throughout the half, and Atletico struggled to control the forward.
The only negative aspect of the half for the Catalan side was the loss of Andres Iniesta, who picked up an injury 21 minutes in. He soldiered on for about 15 minutes, but eventually had to be substituted off, with Andre Gomes taking his place.

- Contrasting halves -

The visitors showed a lot more attacking effort in the second half, and came straight out of the blocks, searching for an equaliser. They played a lot further up the field throughout the half, and were arguably the more likely of the two sides to score after half time.

- Busy day for the linesman -

Simeone's side had a goal disallowed in the 85th minute, after Kevin Gameiro put the ball in the net from a set piece. His celebrations were short lived though, as Diego Costa, who knocked the ball down for him, was ruled offside.

On the flipside, Atletico’s more offensive tactics gave Barcelona a fair few chances to counter, and the home side also had a goal ruled out, after Luis Suarez’s goal from a corner was flagged offside by the linesman. The Catalan side also had a couple of penalty appeals, but neither were particularly convincing.

- One step closer -

Despite being pressured more in the second half, the hosts stayed strong, and earned a victory that will delight Ernesto Valverde, as his team get one step closer to winning the title. They now have a cushion of eight points separating them from Atletico and, with eleven games remaining, look clear favourites to lift the league trophy.

Barcelona continued their unbeaten run against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, as they made it 16 games without losing to their main title rivals this season. A Lionel Messi free-kick gave them a 1-0 win that widens their lead over Diego Simeone’s side to eight points.

Barcelona dominated the first half, keeping the visitors pinned in their own half for the majority of the period. Atletico, who only managed one shot (off target), didn’t get anywhere near scoring, as Barca controlled the ball, recording 67% possession at HT. The home side had a handful of chances, but took the lead halfway through the first 45 through some typical magic from their talisman Leo Messi.

- Messi magic -

The Argentinian was brought down by Thomas Partey 25 yards out, and proceeded to curl a peach of a free kick past Jan Oblak in the 25th minute, bringing his career total to 600. He demonstrated moments of magic throughout the half, and Atletico struggled to control the forward.
The only negative aspect of the half for the Catalan side was the loss of Andres Iniesta, who picked up an injury 21 minutes in. He soldiered on for about 15 minutes, but eventually had to be substituted off, with Andre Gomes taking his place.

- Contrasting halves -

The visitors showed a lot more attacking effort in the second half, and came straight out of the blocks, searching for an equaliser. They played a lot further up the field throughout the half, and were arguably the more likely of the two sides to score after half time.

- Busy day for the linesman -

Simeone's side had a goal disallowed in the 85th minute, after Kevin Gameiro put the ball in the net from a set piece. His celebrations were short lived though, as Diego Costa, who knocked the ball down for him, was ruled offside.

On the flipside, Atletico’s more offensive tactics gave Barcelona a fair few chances to counter, and the home side also had a goal ruled out, after Luis Suarez’s goal from a corner was flagged offside by the linesman. The Catalan side also had a couple of penalty appeals, but neither were particularly convincing.

- One step closer -

Despite being pressured more in the second half, the hosts stayed strong, and earned a victory that will delight Ernesto Valverde, as his team get one step closer to winning the title. They now have a cushion of eight points separating them from Atletico and, with eleven games remaining, look clear favourites to lift the league trophy.