Messi fires Barca past Atletico
Posted: 4 March 2018 Time: 17:48
Lionel Messi's first-half free-kick was enough to hand FC Barcelona a vital 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
The game's first chance arrived after 10 minutes when Lionel Messi forced Jan Oblak into a fine save from just outside the box.
Barca were in full control and they were rewarded for the dominance on 27 minutes when Messi curled home a fine free-kick that left Oblak with no chance.
Atletico, meanwhile, struggled to get the ball off the home side as the likes of Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann cut frustrated figures upfront.
However, Barca were dealt a blow in the 38th minute as Andres Iniesta was forced off with an injury and replaced by Andres Gomes.
The Catalan giants went into the half-time break leading by the lone strike.
Iniesta's departure had no effect on the hosts, who continued to dominate, although Atletico remained resolute in defence.
The visitors finally got Antoine Griezmann into the game in the 64th minute after being sent through the middle but his first-time strike was off the mark.
Simeone’s men enjoyed more of the with 15 minutes remaining to play but they could not really trouble Barça goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
Sergio Busquets nearly got the second goal for the hosts 10 minutes before time after being picked out by Messi at the far post but his header was kept out by Oblak.
The contest opened up with five minutes left as Barça risked being caught on counter-attacks searching for the second goal to kill off the match while Atletico were desperate for the equaliser.
Los Rojiblancos thought they had found an equaliser with five minutes remaining but Kevin Gameiro's strike was ruled out after Costa was flagged offside in the build-up.
Nonetheless, 1-0 was how the score remained as Barca moved eight points clear of second place Atletico.