Barcelona 0-0 Atletico Madrid: LaLiga defenders play empty in exciting match at Nou Camp with Real Madrid as the only winners from a deadlock
- LaLiga title challengers Barcelona and Atletico Madrid played a goalless draw
- The visitors enjoyed the better opportunities of the opening half at Camp Nou
- Marc-Andre ter Stegen made three important saves to keep Atletico at bay
- Barcelona improved after the break, but failed to capitalize and win
- The result is in favor of Real Madrid, which plays against Sevilla on Sunday evening
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have canceled each other at the Camp Nou, signifying a win-win for Real Madrid, who now know that they will become champions if they get the maximum points from their last four games, starting Sunday at home against Sevilla.
Barcelona’s best chance came five minutes before the end when Ousmane Dembélé made a free header on the edge of the six-yard section of Jordi Alba’s cross, but stepped underneath to cross Marc Andre’s crossbar. To let sail.
Messi won a free kick from the 89th minute, but sent it just high and just wide. Neither he nor his old friend Luis Suarez would get the victory they so wanted.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi ruins a missed opportunity during the stalemate with Atletico Madrid
Ilaix Moriba heads a chance for Barcelona in Saturday’s goalless draw at Camp Nou
The hug between the two came just seconds before kick-off. There was also one for Sergio Busquets and Jorid Alba. Barcelona had played some of Suarez’s biggest goals for them during the warm-up, but with the title on the line, the Uruguayan seemed oblivious to the tribute.
Atletico started well. Thomas Lemar got a shot saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Suarez got an error from Gerard Pique and took the free kick himself, which was saved by Ter Stegen.
Messi joined Antoine Griezmann, who had not shown this affection from former Atletico teammates. But the Frenchman’s pass was long.
After 12 minutes, Saul Niguez replaced the paralyzed Thomas Lemar and Barcelona was soon forced to make a substitution.
Atlético attacker Luis Suarez, opposite his old club, is thwarted by Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Suarez was not happy with the actions of the German goalkeeper and claimed that there was contact
Barcelona (3-1-4-2): Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Araujo 46), Pique, Lenglet; Busquets (Moriba 32); Dest (Dembele 75), De Jong, Pedri (Sergi Roberto 75), Alba; Messi (c), Griezmann
Replacements not used: Neto (GK); Braithwaite, Comas, Firpo, Pjanic, Puig, Umtiti
Manager: Ronald Koeman
Booked: Moriba, Alba, Pique
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Hermoso, Koke (c); Trippier, Llorente, Lemar (Saul 13 (Joao Felix 67)), Carrasco; Correa (Kondogbia 73), Suarez
Replacements not used: Grbic (GK); Dembele, Gimenez, Herrera, Renan Lodi, Torreira, Vitolo, Vrsaljko
Manager: Diego Simeone
Booked: Saul, Philip, Koke
Referee: At Lahoz
Busquets and Stefan Savic clashed heads and there was a drink break in the 22 degree heat while the midfielder was being treated.
Griezmann had saved a shot by Oblak while Barcelona was at ten men. Busquets arrived again, but soon became dizzy as he took a seat in the center circle before being replaced by Ilaix Moriba.
Suarez was always a threat in the first half and he started clashing with former teammates. He was caught in the face by Pique in one clash and when Ter Stegen got a hand against both the ball and Suarez’s head.
The keeper shouted ‘no no no!’ when Suarez lay down with his head hoping for a penalty.
Suarez had previously seen his shot saved by Ter Stegen on his first post. The keeper also saved from Marcos Llorente, as Atletico had the upper hand.
Saul was booked for a foul on Messi, who significantly raised the tone past four Atlético defenders 10 minutes before half time. Oblak turned his shot away for a corner kick.
When halftime whistled, it was Atletico Madrid who could be happier with the performance, and the Real Madrid supporters who could be happiest with the outcome as things stood.
There were opportunities in the first minute of the second half when Clement Lenglet twisted to send a header over when substitute Ronald Araujo was better placed at half time.
Lionel Messi is fouled by Saul Niguez – one of the many times the Argentinian was brought down
Messi was unable to inspire Barcelona to a victory that would have boosted their hopes for the title
On the other hand, Suarez plunged into a Lenglet foul and won a corner with a saved shot. Barcelona were still surprisingly cautious with three center-backs marking Suarez. Pique came forward on the hour to get a shiny header on a cross from Messi, but Oblak saved.
It was Atletico’s lead to prepare Joao Felix, but he was still waiting for him to come when Koke Messi pulled down on the edge of the area to earn a booking.
Messi’s free kick crept to the far post when Oblak saved the game to push him out for a corner.
Simeone’s next move was to bring in the Portuguese for Saul, the substitute and Carrasco for the left-back.
Both teams had the ball in the back of the net, but Araujo was offside when he headed in and when Suarez scored from a rebound, the whistle had already blown for a foul by Carrasco on Pique.
With 20 minutes to go, Ronaldo Koeman banned by the sidelines sent a message to the technical room for Ousmane Dembélé to stand out.
Atletico was hit early when Thomas Lemar was forced out with an injury
Sergio Busquets was forced out with a head injury after initially trying to continue
The lively Sergino Dest crosses the ball after passing Atletico defender Mario Hermoso
Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann competes for the ball with Atletico midfield Koke
Old friends Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez enjoy a chat while waiting for kickoff
He won a free kick, but Messi wasted it and gave it straight to an Atletico player. Fortunately for Barcelona, that player was Joao Felix who was taking an age to launch the counter, giving Messi time to come back and help narrow the odds.
He’s more dangerous closer to the penalty area and he found Suarez, but the Uruguayan couldn’t find Carrasco. The Belgian then tried to find Suarez, but hit his cross and Atletico’s last good chance was gone
They are still top notch, but if Real Madrid beats Sevilla, they’ll be second – and Barcelona third – with three games to go. It is now owned by Real Madrid.
LIVE THE ACTION AGAIN AS PERFORMED BELOW WITH ADAM SHERGOLD