A Marc-Andre Ter Stegen blunder handed Atletico Madrid a 1-0 win over Barcelona, with Yannick Carrasco scoring the only goal of the game to send Diego Simeone’s joint-top of La Liga.
Atleti now trail Real Sociedad at the top of the table on goal difference, with the capital club holding a game in-hand. This was a result that underlined their title credentials, with Atletico Madrid more dominant than the final scoreline suggested.
The decisive moment of the match came deep into stoppage time at the end of the first half, when Angel Correa played a ball in behind for Carrasco to chase. Ter Stegen made life easy for the Belgian by coming 35 yards off his line. Carrasco rounded him and finished into the empty net.
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Things went from bad to worse for Barca when Gerard Pique left the pitch in tears following an injury caused by Correa, with the Catalans failing to mount a late fightback as they slumped to their third defeat in just eight La Liga games this season.
TALKING POINT - Gerard Pique’s injury is another blow to Barcelona’s season
No diagnosis has been offered yet of Pique’s injury, but it didn’t look good for the Barcelona centre back when he left the pitch in tears after Correa had landed on the back of his leg. The Catalans were already short for defensive options before this injury. Pique’s absence means Frenkie de Jong could have to play alongside Clement Lenglet in central defence. That says a lot about the state of Koeman’s makeshift backline right now.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid)
Eyebrows were raised when Carrasco returned to Atletico Madrid in January, but the Belgian has since become a key figure for the capital club. He gave Barcelona all sorts of problems down the left side in his wing back position, scoring the winning goal at the end of the first half after Ter-Stegen had come wildly off his line. Carrasco gave Atleti an outlet throughout and showed why Simeone has placed his faith in him again after an underwhelming first spell at the club.
Atlético Madrid - Oblak 6, Trippier 6, Savic 7, Gimenez 7, Hermoso 6, Llorente 7, Koke 8, Saúl 7, Carrasco 8, Felix 7, Correa 7. Subs - Kondogbia 6, Costa 6, Felipe 3, Lemar 5.
Barcelona - Ter Stegen 3, Roberto 5, Pique 5, Lenglet 4, Alba 5, Pjanic 5, De Jong 6, Dembele 7, Messi 5, Pedri 4, Griezmann 5. Subs - Dest 6, Trincao 3, Braithwaite 3, Coutinho 5.
12’ Off the crossbar! Atletico Madrid are getting closer and closer here! Llorente was played in behind, the angle was still relatively tight, but his powerful strike clips the top of the bar and goes over!
45+3’ GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona: Atletico Madrid have the lead right at the end of the first half! What was Ter Stegen doing so far off his line? Correa played Carrasco in behind the Barcelona defence, he still had a long way to go, but Ter Stegen made it easy for him! Carrasco rounded him 35 yards out and finished into the empty net! Atleti are 1-0 up!
58’ He should have scored! What an opportunity for Barcelona to restore parity! Messi's right-footed cross was perfect for Lenglet, but the defender could only find the gloves of Oblak from five yards out!
60’ That's a sore one! Pique is down on the ground after taking the full weight of Correa on his leg. This is bad news for Barcelona. The central defender looks like he'll have to come off here. Indeed, Dest on for Pique. He’s in tears.
Diego Simeone claimed his first ever La Liga game against Barcelona as a manager, with Atletico Madrid beating the Catalans in the league for the first time in 10 years, nine months and eight days.
Lionel Messi has scored just one of his last 48 direct freekick efforts in all competitions.
Atletico Madrid have scored three goals due to goalkeeper error in La Liga this season, more than any other team in the division.
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