Spanish La Liga
BarcelonaBarcelona2Atl MadridAtlético Madrid1

Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez celebrate against Atletico Madrid
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have now scored 52 goals between them this season

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored as Barcelona came from behind to beat nine-man Atletico Madrid and go three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Atletico, who started the day level with the defending champions, took an early lead when Koke fired home.

But Messi slotted in the equaliser after 31 minutes and Suarez raced clear to score his 19th league goal of the season eight minutes later.

Atletico had Filipe Luis and Diego Godin sent off for bad challenges.

Title in the bag for Barca?

With a game in hand and a three-point lead at the top of the table it looks like Barcelona's title to lose now.

Luis Enrique's side have won five of their six league games since the winter break and are beginning to look unstoppable with 17 games to go.

Their remaining fixtures do not look too demanding, bar a visit from Real Madrid, who are now seven points back, at the start of April.

This may have been Atletico's last chance to stay in the hunt but they have now not won in 10 league attempts at the Nou Camp and with Barca doing the double for a second successive season, there may be no way back for Diego Simeone's men.

Red for danger

Filipe Luis is sent off for Atletico Madrid at Barcelona
Filipe Luis is sent off for Atletico Madrid at Barcelona

Atletico's lack of discipline may have cost them their last tilt at the title after Luis and Godin were both sent off for needless challenges.

Luis' dangerous lunge at Messi just before half-time was as crude as it was reckless by the former Chelsea defender.

Barcelona coach Enrique was furious but Messi managed to avoid injury and his side was handed a one-man advantage.

Atletico were not out of it and still managed to create chances as they looked to fight back from 2-1 down.

But another wild challenge from Godin on Suarez, which could have earned him a straight red rather than a second yellow, left them too much to do as they played the final half-hour with only nine men.

Man of the match

Luis Suarez scores for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid
Luis Suarez was not at his best and even against nine men he, Lionel Messi and Neymar were unable to run riot. But when Barca need a goal Suarez is invariably the man and his calm finish to give him 31 goals for the season was ultimately the difference between the teams.

What they said:

Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo: "It was a tough game because they were very strong, but we came out on top in the duel and that is thanks to our work in the week."

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone: "Even with nine men we maintained our way of playing. In a game you can win or lose, but I always prefer to lose in this way."

What next?

Barcelona continue their quest for a treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey when they meet Gary Neville's Valencia in the first leg of their Spanish Cup semi-final next Wednesday night.

They return to league action at bottom club Levante next Sunday, while Atletico's next match is at home to Europa League hopefuls Eibar in La Liga next Saturday.

Line-ups

Barcelona

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Bravo
  • 6Alves da SilvaSubstituted forRoberto Carnicerat 82'minutes
  • 3Piqué
  • 14Mascherano
  • 18Alba
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forTuranat 67'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 8Iniesta
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 7Turan
  • 17El Haddadi
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 22Vidal Parreu
  • 23Vermaelen
  • 24Mathieu

Atl Madrid

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 13Oblak
  • 20Torres BelénBooked at 41mins
  • 24Giménez de Vargas
  • 2GodínBooked at 65mins
  • 3Filipe LuísBooked at 44mins
  • 17Saúl
  • 14Fernández ArenasBooked at 25minsSubstituted forGámezat 45'minutes
  • 12FernándezSubstituted forParteyat 76'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6Koke
  • 21Carrasco
  • 7GriezmannSubstituted forSavicat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Moyá Rumbo
  • 10Torres Muñoz
  • 11Martínez
  • 15Savic
  • 18Gámez
  • 22Partey
  • 23Vietto
Referee:
Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Attendance:
93,011

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamAtl Madrid
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away18

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 2, Atlético de Madrid 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Atlético de Madrid 1.

  3. Post update

    Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Yannick Carrasco (Atlético de Madrid).

  5. Booking

    Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Arda Turan (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid).

  8. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Luis Suárez tries a through ball, but Arda Turan is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Claudio Bravo (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Stefan Savic (Atlético de Madrid).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Giménez (Atlético de Madrid) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Koke with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

  13. Post update

    Yannick Carrasco (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

  15. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Giménez.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

  18. Post update

    Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Dani Alves.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jesús Gámez.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 30th January 2016

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