Lionel Messi once again acted as Barcelona’s savior as the Blaurgana successfully edged out Atletico Madrid in a very tough game which saw the defending champion continuously troubled by the home side.
The victory obviously preserved the Catalan side’s hope in catching their rival, Real Madrid, who in a few hours earlier already pulled up 13 points lead ahead, which eventually cut back to 10 again thanks to the three points against Atletico.
Coming into the game potentially knowing that Madrid have picked up a victory, forced Barcelona squad to apply pressure on Atletico right from the start but the in form Diego Simeone’s squad didn’t simply rest on their laurels. Although didn’t managed to had much of the possession, the home team continuously caused problems for Barca back line especially from the movement of Radamel Falcao, Adrian Lopez and also Arda Turan.
The match was very interesting indeed as both teams created chances after chances, but the Blaurgrana could have taken a pretty early lead when Messi puts the ball in the net but was ruled out after the Argentinian spotted using his hand in the process. However, being the more patient and dominant team on the ball, Barca earned their reward in the 36th minute when Dani Alves successfully met Cesc Fabregas’ cross inside the penalty area and gave the visitor an important goal indeed.
Losing a goal down in the first half, the home team reacted well in the second period as they stepped up their pressure over the Catalan army and eventually grabbed the equalizing goal that arrived from Atletico’s main bomber, Radamel Falcao. The ex-Porto striker smartly moved away from Barca defender’s marking and slammed home a lovely first time shot which simply beaten Victor Valdes, who couldn’t really do anything about the equalizer.
Barcelona tried to reacted strongly after the equalizer, but the home team’s confidence apparently is already flying high as they continue to trouble the away team through Falcao and even Fellipe Luis, who played really well on the day. In the other end, Alexis Sanchez also had his goal ruled out after the Chilean was also found handling the ball before bundling it into Atletico’s goal, keeping the score line remain level.
Just when the game looked to be ending in a draw, Messi once again provided a moment of brilliance, albeit also a bit controversial, when the Argentinean curled an early free kick which caught Atleti’s keeper, Courtois, stranded. The home team players were disappointed that the referee allowed Barca to take the free kick early as Messi took the kick when Simeone’s boys were still focusing in organizing their defensive wall.
Atletico tried to get back into the game and simply dominated the proceedings after Messi’s goal as Falcao and Juanfran picked several good goal scoring chances which defender bravely by the Catalan boys. After a tough job at the back, the Blaurgrana eventually hold on for a precious victory which simply kept their chance in reaching their rival, Real Madrid, who doesn’t seem to stop themselves from winning.