Luis Suarez scored against his former club as Atletico Madrid heaped more misery on Ronald Koeman with a 2-0 win over Barcelona to move joint top of La Liga on points.
Defeat to Benfica in the Champions League sparked speculation that Koeman might be sacked with another loss in the Spanish capital and this result won’t help the Dutchman’s cause.
Atleti started strongly and took the lead after 23 minutes when a passing move involving Joao Felix and Suarez released Thomas Lemar in behind for the Frenchman to finish past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
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Suarez spurned a golden opportunity to make it two soon after with the former Barcelona striker putting a finish past the far post when he should have found the back of the net.
However, Suarez made amends by scoring just before half time, taking his time to pick his spot after excellent combination play by Felix and Lemar down the left wing on the rapid counter attack.
Ansu Fati came off the bench with 25 minutes left before Antoine Griezmann was introduced to face his former club, but there was to be no change in the dynamic of the contest as Atletico Madrid saw out the comfortable victory.
TALKING POINT - The balance of power has shifted in La Liga
This was complete domination from Atletico Madrid as they highlighted their status as the best team in La Liga at this moment in time. The defending champions have the best players, the deepest squad, the most tactically astute manager, the most state-of-the-art stadium… the balance of power in the Spanish game has shifted and this was an illustration of the sport’s new landscape in the country. On the basis of this performance, Atleti might stroll to another Spanish title.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid)
There was a time not so long ago when Lemar was widely seen as an expensive flop. The Frenchman struggled through his first two seasons in the Spanish capital, but has flourished into an important first-team figure for Atleti. This performance demonstrated everything Lemar offers Diego Simeone, with the Frenchman scoring the first and creating the second. Barcelona couldn’t handle him.
Atletico Madrid - Oblak 5, Savic 6, Gimenez 5, Hermoso 7, Koke 7, Llorente 8, De Paul 6, Lemar 9*, Carrasco 8, Suarez 8, Felix 8. Subs - Griezmann 6, Correa 5, Trippier 6, Lodi 4, Felipe 4.
Barcelona - Ter Stegen 6, Mingueza 5, Pique 3, Araujo 7, Dest 5, Busquets 4, F. De Jong 4, Nico 5, Gavi 3, Coutinho 2, Depay 4. Subs - Roberto 4, Ansu 7, L. de Jong 4, Puig 3, Lenglet 2.
23’ GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona: Atleti have the opening goal and it's Lemar who has found the back of the net! The hosts put together a fantastic passing move in the Barcelona box. Felix fed Suarez who played the pass into Lemar and the Frenchman converted the chance!
29’ Suarez should have scored! What a huge miss by the former Barcelona striker! Felix put the chance on a plate for Suarez, but he guides his low shot wide of the far post. It should be two!
45’ GOAL! Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona: Atleti double their advantage before the break and Suarez scores against his former club! Lemar and Felix combined brilliantly with the former playing the pass to Suarez and he took plenty of time to pick his spot! Brilliant goal!
60’ Big chance for Coutinho! That was Barcelona's best chance to get back in the game with Gavi winning TWO balls high up the pitch, squaring for Coutinho, but his tame shot is saved by Oblak!
Luis Suarez has now scored against every team he has faced in La Liga.
Thomas Lemar has now scored more goals in five La Liga games this season (two) than in his previous two seasons combined (one).
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