Barcelona host Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou today, with the top spot in La Liga on the line. Both teams are leading Spain’s top division with 48 points, but Barcelona have a game in hand and lead the goal differential by 14. Goals aren’t Madrid’s specialty, as they enter today’s match boasting the league’s top defense.
Madrid have allowed just eight goals in 23 league games this season, and plan on shutting down the trio of MSN today. Barcelona will be at full strength today, as Neymar has practiced through his foot injury and should be included in the starting lineup.
While Luis Enrique has emphasized that today is just one outcome, it’s a much bigger fixture for Madrid. Diego Simeone’s men were ousted from Copa del Rey earlier this week, and a poor performance today would send the team trending downward heading into Champions League play next month.
The key for today’s match will be whether Atleti can regularly threaten Barcelona’s final third. Madrid have really only gotten steady offense from Antoine Griezmann this season, and his performance will be huge today. If Barca is allowed to possess, the speed and technique are difficult for even Spain’s best defensive side to overcome.
Stay on this page throughout the match for live updates, and video highlights of every goal.
FINAL: 2-1 Barcelona
Final whistle at Camp Nou, as Barcelona extend their unbeaten streak to 26 games. It was a beautful start for Madrid, but slowly the game turned in Barcelona’s favor. Filipe Luis’ red card before halftime made it an uphill battle for Madrid, who fought until the end but could not get the second goal.
It’s a big win for the league table, as Barcelona now have a game in hand and are three points clear at the top.
Madrid down to nine men! Godin is shown his second yellow, and now Madrid are down one goal and two men.
Griezmann gets his chance, but he’s denied by Bravo! The Barca keeper dove to the wrong side of Griezmann’s volley, but his feet were able to knock the would-be equalizer away.
44′ Red Card to Atletico
Filipe Luis with a senseless challenge on Messi, nearly driving his cleat into the Argentine’s knee. Madrid are already trailing, but now they face an uphill challenge as they lose a man literally seconds before halftime.
Goal Barcelona! Dani Alves plays a gorgeous ball to Suarez, who slots home the finish to put Barcelona ahead. Madrid have to feel the pressure now, as Barcelona’s possession is becoming overwhelming.
Messi equalizes! Barcelona are in control now, and they finally get on the board with a calm finish from Messi on a perfect feed from the resurgent Jordi Alba.
1-0 Atletico Madrid
Madrid scores first! Koke opens the scoring for Atletico, on a ball that fell to his foot off a long cross from Saul.
Madrid come out attacking early, and it takes a fantastic save from Claudio Bravo to keep it out of the goal. Griezmann set up Saul, whose attempt from outside the box was pushed away with one hand by a diving Bravo.
Find out how to watch this game in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: