Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: full time report
In a game that Atletico Madrid felt they could have won and Barcelona needed to win, Lionel Messi again stepped up late and settled matters. Rafinha had given Barcelona the lead in the second half but Diego Godin levelled before Messi poked home on 87 minutes to give Atletico little time to respond.
Atletico welcome Jan Oblak and Diego Godin back after spells of varying lengths on the sideline and Oblak rejected Messi in the first half from a pinpoint free-kick. Atletico were the best team in the opening exchanges and had a number of chances that they failed to convert. As the half wore on, Barcelona started to express themselves more and Luis Suarez, along with Neymar were becoming a force. Wit half-time fast approaching, Atletico pushed forward again to no avail and the game hung in the balance after 45.
Neither manager changed tact in the second half and it wasn't long before Atletico whether by force or design, found themselves defending deep inside their own half. Before long, it became the attack of Barcelona versus Atletico's counter but it was the former that struck first. Rafinha was on hand to tuck the ball under Oblak after good work involving Rakitic, Umtiti and Messi. As Fernando Torres came on, Simeone showed his urgency and Atletico did the same when Diego Godin got the slightest glancer on a Koke free-kick to draw the sides level.
After that, it was back to as you were, as Barcelona pushed forward and Atletico retreated in the hope of catching Barça on the hop. Messi put the game to bed when Suarez got the ball close to the endline and pulled it back to the Argentine. His initial shot was blocked by Savic but it fell kindly to the Barça attacker and he made no mistake at the second time of asking. For the second time in two weeks, a late Messi goal saved Barça and earned them all three points as Simeone's objectives remain staying in fourth while Luis Enrique still dreams of a La Liga title.
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: second half
FT - No chance for Atletico as they can't get the ball high enough up the field. Much needed win for Barcelona as they go top of the league while Atletico's objective remains making the top four.
Min 90+2 | Good pressure from Barça forces a turnover as Filipe Luis coughs it up. One last chance for Atletico maybe?
Min 90 | Four minutes of added time as Atletico try desperately to make something happen. Long ball by Koke for Correa is put out for a throw by Digne. The resulting throw almost drops to Torres bu Pique clears. Very close to another equaliser.
Min 87 | GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! A very similar goal to Barcelona's first as Messi pokes under Oblak after a scramble in the box. Suarez pulls it back to Messi after Rakitic does well to head it back towards Umtiti. Savic blocks the first shot but it pops up to Messi and he makes no mistake second time around.
Min 84 | Barcelona substitution: Andre Gomes replaces Sergi Roberto as Luis Enrique throws one last roll of the dice.
Min 84 | Correa nearly wins it back high up the field but Digne manages to keep it and evade his pressure. Gabi arrives with a tired tackle and gives away the free.
Min 82 | The battle of Neymar and Vrsaljko rages on. Neymar fouls this time and Messi is booked for dissent.
Min 80 | After a host of substitutions, a number of injuries and different stoppages, we look to be finally back into a decent flow. Barcelona the protagonists but Atletico looking dangerous on the break.
Min 77 | Neymar fouled after a Vrsaljko error. It was the Croatian who recovered and pulled his shoulder back as he tried to make his way towards goal.
Min 75 | Barcelona substitution: Nope. Mathieu can't continue despite trying to give it a go. Digne to replace him.
Min 73 | Correa's first contribution is a late tackle on Mathieu as he gets booked. the defender remains on the ground as he twisted his ankle. Remains to be seen how badly he turned it on the turf. Could be time for Jordi Alba.
Min 72 | Atletico Madrid substitution: Angel Correa replaces Kevin Gameiro.
Min 71 | Barcelona substitution: Andres Iniesta trots off and is replaced by Ivan Rakitic.
Min 70 | GOAL GOAL GOAL! Godin gets a header on the free by Koke and it beats Ter Stegen, who had no time to react. Replays show the slightest of glances on Godin's head. 1-1.
Min 67 | Atletico substitution: Fernando Torres comes on in place of Kevin Yannick Carrasco. Atletico going with two striker, three if you count Griezmann. Simeone's move might be five minutes too late but they need a response soon and this is the only way they are going to get one.
Min 65 | Savic is booked for giving the referee lip. Not sure what he is complaining about but Godin was having a word before.
Min 64 | GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Rafinha slots it under Oblak after Suarez' shot bounced around inside the box. Opportunistic by the midfielder as he takes advantage of Atletico indecision at the back.
Min 62 | Atletico sitting increasingly deeper.
Min 59 | Messi tries to drop the shoulder and get into a shooting position but Atletico put it out for a corner. Barcelona keep the pressure on from the corner and Mesis strikes again. It's deflected again and another corner.
Min 57 | Atletico again forcing Barça hearts into their mouths but Gameiro gives possession away in the box as he tries to direct it towards the goal.
Min 56 | Saul and Neymar get tangled up together and the Atletico midfielder swings a leg as they disengage. Yellow for Saul but he might consider himself lucky when he sits down to watch the game back with a cup of tea tonight!
Min 55 | Gabi clips the ball to the right from the free and Vrsaljko crosses. Godin gets his head to it but it goes over the bar.
Min 54 | Barcelona corner is cleared and Atletico break. Griezmann pulled down by Busquets on the counter and he goes into the ref's notebook.
Min 52 | Griezmann in again on the left as he fired a low shot towards goal. The great wall of Ter Stegen stops it again. Gabi has a try just second later and Ter Stegen gets in some diving practise. Easy for the German.
Min 50 | Rafinha bulldozes into the back of Godin, who wins the free. Barcelona looking far more confident to start the second half. Atletico the opposite.
Min 48 | Savic error and Luis Suarez is put in by Messi. Suarez gets it all wrong and chips it wide with his right foot. Well wide, it must be said.
Min 46 | We are underway for the second half with no changes for either side.
Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona: first half summary
Barcelona have been faced with a barage of Atletico Madrid attacks and lived to fight another day each time. They might have seen the very best of Atletico for a spell during that opening half and without conceding decided the onus was on them to make something happen. Barcelona grew into the game as the clock ticked but Atletico still look dangerous. Luis Enrique won't be happy with the number of chances they have given up and used their get out of jail free card more than once and it might be a counter-attacking strategy we see for the rest of the game from them. Still, they have the attacking talent to score at the Calderon and Atletico will have to be wary of that. Huge 45 minutes upcoming for both sides.
Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona: first half
Min 45 | Not as much as a second of added time at the end of the first half. It was hectic for most of it with few stoppages.
Min 42 | Pique can't believe his luck, or lack of it, as he rises to meet a corner and Oblak saves. Really good chance for the visitors just before half-time.
Min 39 | The game of cat and mouse that is Griezmann versus Ter Stegen continues as the Frenchman seems to be in but the German foils his plans yet again. He rushes off his line this time to deny the Atletico striker.
Min 38 | So close! Messi strikes it and it was going in but Oblak tips it over the bar. Reall good save from the returning Slovenian. The corner comes to nothing!
Min 37 | Savic fouls Suarez in the air as he goes in over the top of the Uruguayan. Quite a bltant foul but the Calderon does not think so, not does Simeone, or any other Atletico player. In what is the leats surprising news of the day. Messi eyes it up!
Min 35 | Gabi with a kick at the legs of Neymar. The ref has a long chat to him about how to and how not to tackle but that is as far as the punishment goes. Atletico's captain will be happy with that outcome.
Min 34 | Atletico with anothe rgolden chance. Griezmann through on goal but opts to square to Koke. Ter Stegen again gets his hands on the ball. Barça break and Suarez fires over from distance!
Min 33 | Koke cross to the back post for Carrasco, who squares. too close to Ter Stegen though as Gameiro lurks.
Min 31 | Not that they needed it but Atletico with a very swift lesson on how fast Barcelona can counter. Pressure on Barcelona without making it pay can be fatal. Lionel Messi's shot like a lightening bolt that caused all the confusion at the back for Atletico.
Min 29 | Barcelona have the ball in the net with Suarez poking a little header home. Messi drove a shot that Oblak saved, suarez battled for the rebound and Filipe Luis' clearance that came off the post feel to the Barcelona striker. Mateu had blown for a free though. Looked like he thought Suarez fouled Oblak as he went down for the ball. Seemed harsh?!
Min 27 | Neymar tries to break again bu Atletico are disciplined in the tackle and win it back. They had two chances to pull him down (something an older Atletico Madrid side would have done) but they ended up being paid back for their patience.
Min 25 | A rare mistake by Pique as his clearance is picked up and fed to Griezmann. He lets one fly with his right but Ter Stegen tips it over.
Min 24 | Barcelona try to build from the back after some extensive pressure from Atletico. Neymar wins a free as Koke got a little excessive with his pressure.
Min 22 | Gabi backing into Neymar with Vrsaljko arriving form the back squash the Brazilian but Atletico's captain goes down and wins a free.
Min 19 | Carrasco and Filipe Luis working hard down the left and make it into the box. The Belgian wins a corner as he tries to run it into the net. Barcelona remain under the cosh.
Min 18 | Another ball chipped in towards Griezmann. Too many green shirts in front of him and he just pops it back inside. Umtiti clears again but unconvincingly and Atletico are back on the attack. Cross to Gameiro is headed away for a corner by Pique. Barcelona under all sorts of pressure.
Min 17 | Even more Atletico as Griezmann turns his body and drives one low to the left of Ter Stegen but he saves and Umtiti clears.
Min 16 | Atletico win a kick-out and start another attack. Cross into Gameiro comes off his boot the wrong way but Koke fires the shot back towards Ter Stegen, who saves with ease.
Min 15 | Another decent spell for Atletico as Gameiro breaks into the box but is stopped.
Min 14 | Vrsaljko acting as the shepherd as he keeps an eye on Neymar. The Brazilian gets a cross in but Atletico clear.
Min 12 | A couple of tangles down Barcelona's left between Vrsaljko and Neymar. Nothing overtly physical but might be a sign of things to come. That area of the field has been one of Barça's only productive one at times.
Min 10 | Sergi Roberto rattles Koke with a shoulder on the ear as the pair collide in the air. Mateu says "no more" as Roberto trots back into position. Free to Atletico.
Min 9 | Oblak comes way out of his box to claim a long ball but Godin either doesn't get a call, or ignores it and meets it with his head. Ball falls to Gabi, who is then fouled. A big of a let-off there for Atletico as it could have been a whole lot worse.
Min 8 | Messi with a chance after some good work by Suarez. He fires over though as the crowd at the Calderon get on the ref's back. They think it was a free during the build-up.
Min 6 | Free for Barcelona out on the right. Messi puts too much on it and it goes over Pique's head at the back post. The Argentine had too much pre-match pasta and put too much sauce on the cross.
Min 5 | Diego Godin drives over from a corner. He was so close to the goal that it looked harder to miss. Two early chances for Atletico and the Calderon has found it's voice. Cries of "Atletiiii, Atletiiii" ring out around the Calderon.
Min 4 | What a chance. Gabi clips a cross in that goes over Griezmann's head and falls to Carrasco. he swings a foot at it but he didn't expect it to land to him and it goes well wide.
Min 3 | Barça with all the possession so far as they work it patiently out from the back. Atleti's early efforts to disrupt them fail.
Min 2 | Very, very early look but it seems Barcelona are playing something like a 3-5-2 with Messi dropping into midfield and Rafinha and Roberto pushing high up the field when Barcelona are in possession.
Min 1 | The man in the middle, Señor Antonio Mateu, gets us underway.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona: team news
Atletico Madrid XI: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Godin, Savic, Filipe Luis, Gabi, Koke, Saul, Carrasco, Griezmann, Gameiro.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Mathieu, Busquets, Iniesta, Rafinha, Messi, Neymar, Suarez.
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona: latest news
16:11 | Barcelona wearing yellow t-shirts in support of their teammate Aleix Vidal, who will be out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
16:01 | Barcelona also looking for their fourth in a row and have done it just once this season against Deport, Valencia, Granada and Sevilla. Barcelona can also go top today and will then have to wait for Real Madrid's game against Villarreal tonight. They have been top of the league for just one week, the very first, this season. They beat Real Betis 6-2 on the opening day of the season.
15:58 | Atletico looking for their fourth consecutive win in the league for the first time this season. Plenty of stop-starts for them with frustrating draws holding them back from really challenging at the top of the table.
15:52 | So much has changed since then, the pendulum has swung back in Atletico's direction as Barça look like the team on the precipice. They face a last 16 exit from the Champions League and a loss here could rule out La Liga for them too.
15:49 | Profe Ortega taking Atletico through their paces while Barcelona looking spiffy in their illunious warm-up tops, accentuated by the sunshine in Madrid. The last game between the two was a helter-skelter affair in the Copa del Rey semi-final just a few short weeks ago. Yours truly was doing the live feed that day too (you can look back on what happened that night here) and Barcelona took advantage of Atletico Madrid's sloppy defending to land two in the first half. That 45 would eventually win them the tie because while Atletico played better than Barça, they could not recover from the two away goals.
15:46 | We are looking into a correlation between the length of Antoine Griezmann's hair and how well he does in front of goal. Will report back with findings as soon as we have compiled enough evidence.
15:42 | A yellow card for Koke, Saul or Godin will rule them out of Atletico's next game against Deportivo la Coruña while Pique walks the tightrope for Barça and could miss their next game against Sporting if he finds himself in Antonio Mateu's book today.
15:31 | The suggestion is that Luis Enrique might be going for a 3-4-3 against Atleti as he tries to invgorate that midfield and over Sergi Roberto some extra protection at the back, forcing him to do less. It's a novel idea, and Luis Enrique has to do something, but will it be enough?
15:29 | Six canteranos in Barça's team today including Pique, Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta, Rafinha and Lionel Messi.
15:17 | Still though, Barcelona are one of two teams never to be beaten by Diego Simeone in the league. The other team are Alaves (who they have drawn with twice this season). Simeone has a pretty attrocious record against Barça sides and that has carried through under every manager including Pep Guardiola, Tata Martino, Tito Villanova and now Luis Enrique.
15:12 | The initial reaction to the team news is that Atletico look really strong. Luis Enrique has thrown a few surprises out way as Alba is fit enough to make the bench but not to start while Rafinha is preferred in place of Ivan Rakitic, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes.
14:57 | Jan Oblak has not played since the 12th of December. He has missed 15 games and in those games Atletico have conceded 14 goals. In the 21 he played this season, they conceded 15.
14:38 | Kevin Gameiro was not happy to be taken off against Bayer but with Barcelona in their sights, maybe Simeone was right to sacrifice the French man.
14:10 | Saúl Ñíguez scored a lovely goal in the Champions League in midweek, and the midfielder has been speaking ahead of this afternoon's game.
13:10 | There have been some rather tasty goals in Atlético-Barça clashes at the Calderón down the years. Don't believe us? Then watch this video.
12:45 | Barcelona coach Luis Enrique spoke to the media on the eve of today's game - here's what he had to say.
12:05 | Barcelona's near neighbours Espanyol are currently in action at home to Osasuna - you can follow that live with AS English.
11:00 | AS editor Alfredo discusses this afternoon's match-up - as well as high-flying Sevilla and Villarreal-Real Madrid - in his editorial today. Why not permit yourself a shufties?
10:10 | Why not get yourself started this fine Sunday morning by reading our Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona match preview below? It was crafted with oodles of love.
09:55 | Good morning! Join us for all the build-up ahead of Atlético and Barça's last ever Calderón clash (barring an improbable chain of events in the Champions League, that is).
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona: match preview
Atlético and Barcelona face off in the Calderón in a match that pits third against fourth after Sevilla’s derby triumph sent Jorge Sampaoli’s team into second overnight. Diego Simeone has never got the better of Barcelona in the league with results in Atlético’s fiefdom in recent years largely going the way of Sunday’s vistitors: four Barcelona wins and a draw. However, each of the Azulgrana’s victories in that sequence have been by a single goal so Simeone’s first priority will be too keep it tight at the back.
Luis Enrique needs a good result to quell growing unrest over his management of the side after the 4-0 Champions League drubbing at the hands of PSG and a far from convincing 2-1 victory over Leganés last weekend that required a last-minute Leo Messi penalty to seal.
Simeone will be heartened by the return of his defensive linchpin Diego Godín, who has been out of action since picking up a muscle strain during the Copa del Rey semi-final tie between the sides. Also available is Jan Oblak, who has recovered from a dislocated shoulder after three months out and made the squad for 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen but remained on the bench in Germany.
Atlético’s midfield has been questioned this season as opposition teams have found it worryingly easy to carve a swath towards the back four and Gabi will need to marshal his side carefully to prevent the visitors from enjoying too much space in the Calderón. Up front Atlético’s strikers are in a rich vein of form: Antoine Griezmann has scored seven goals so far in 2017 with able assistance from Kevin Gameiro, who has bagged five in the last two weeks, and Fernando Torres, with four.
Player to watch: Koke
The Atlético midfielder will be key to the home side’s game plan with his passing range as he looks to release the front line from deep.
Javier Mascherano is unlikely to be fit to play so Enrique will play Samuel Umtiti in the back four alongside Gerard Piqué. Sergio Busquets is back after an injury layoff and will be charged with breaking up Atlético’s attacks and bringing the ball out from the back.
Leo Messi has found the net in eight of his last 10 Liga outings while Luis Suárez has done so in seven and the Barça frontmen carved Atlético apart in the Camp Nou in the opening 45 minutes of the first leg of the Copa clash. If they are firing the bets are off and with Neymar picking at Atlético’s lock the home defence are guaranteed a busy afternoon.
Player to watch: Leo Messi
The Argentinean loves playing against Atlético and has banged in 26 goals in 33 games against the Rojiblancos.
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona: possible line-ups
Atlético Madrid XI: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Savic, Godín, F. Luis, Saúl, Gabi, Koke, Carrasco, Griezmann, Gameiro
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, S. Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, L. Suárez, Neymar
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona: bet on the game
Atlético Madrid vs Barcelona: live build-up
Barcelona vs Sporting Gijón coverage | LaLiga Santander