Atletico add to Barca's woes

LaLiga

Atletico Madrid strengthened their grip on second spot in LaLiga with a 1-0 win over FC Barcelona on Saturday evening.

Luis Suarez missed out against his former club after testing positive for Coronavirus, while Barca showed two changes in Miralem Pjanic and Lionel Messi from the win over Real Betis.

Barca were given a big fright as early as the 11th minute when Marcos Llorente cracked the crossbar after firing in from the right side of the area following a cutback from Angel Correa.

The Catalans came into their own following a quiet opening quarter, and saw Messi going level with Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak after wiggling into the box, but the latter went down to parry.

Atleti got their noses in front right on the stroke of halftime after Yannick Carrasco beat Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to a through ball from Correa to slot into an unguarded net.

Ronald Koeman’s outfit should’ve levelled matters ten minutes into the second half when Clement Lenglet headed in a corner from the back-post, but Oblak saved.

The Frenchman went close again moments later with another header this time in the centre of the area after meeting a cross from Messi, but Oblak once more parried.

A nasty injury on 62 minutes had Gerard Pique limping off the field with his spot taken by Sergio Dest, as the Catalans battled to find rhythm.

Barca slowly threatened a comeback with a pin-point header in the centre of the area from Antoine Griezmann in the final minutes forcing Oblak to a smart save.

The equaliser proved elusive for the Catalans as fulltime loomed, as Atleti ran down the clock for the win to stay in second spot.

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