An entertaining match at the Wanda Metropolitano, but it’s Barcelona who will be heading home the happier of the two teams. It didn’t look like they were going to get the breakthrough, but they stuck at their task and Valverde made the necessary changes. They got their reward in the end.
- END OF 2ND HALF
FULL TIME: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
OBLAK MAKES THE SAVE! Messi gets his shot through the wall with power, but the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper read it and was behind the ball to make the solid save. Well judged.
YELLOW CARDANTOINE GRIEZMANNATLÉTICO MADRID
What an error! Griezmann gives away the ball then fouls Messi right on the edge of the box. This could be costly. It really could.
This would feel like a win for Barcelona. For so long in this match, they were ineffective. They just couldn’t break through the Atletico Madrid backline. They will take a point from this.
Is there a winner left in this game for one of these two teams? It seems like Atletico Madrid are settling for a poiint with Barcelona the ones in possession and pressing on the edge of the box.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
CHANCE FOR BARCA! The ball from Gomes needed to be better. He tried to slot the ball through to Suarez in the middle, but the weight wasn’t right and the pass drifts out the other side.
ONFERNANDO TORRESATLÉTICO MADRID
Atletico Madrid have made a change. They’re chasing the game again. Torres has been introduced.
GOALLUIS SUÁREZFC BARCELONA
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 1 (82 mins – Luiz Suarez). A massive goal! A season defining goal! Roberto whips a cross to the back post where Suarez had peeled away from his marker and heads home. Oblak couldn’t get there.
SUAREZ SHOT IS SAVED! If only his control has been a little bit better, he would have surely scored. Instead, Suarez could only toe poke a shot towards goal and Oblak makes the save.
OFFIVAN RAKITICFC BARCELONA
Here comes Paulinho for the final 10 minutes. Can he make the difference?
What do Barcelona have left? They need more midfielders to break ranks and disrupt the Atletico Madrid defence, but the danger there is that the hosts could expose them on the break.
Koke has been excellent for Atletico Madrid this evening. He is the one controlling things in the middle and picking the passes when the home side come flying out on the counter attack.
Looks like Paulinho is going to come on for Barcelona. They need someone to barge through the lines of Atletico Madrid defence and that’s something he can certainly do.
Alba and Juanfran go down, with Alba implying that the Atletico Madrid right back caught him with an elbow. The referee has given the freekick, but no more action is taken. Wise.
OFFYANNICK CARRASCOATLÉTICO MADRID
ONTHOMAS PARTEYATLÉTICO MADRID
Change for Atletico Madrid and it’s Carrasco who is going to come off for the hosts.
This really is a season-defining match for both these teams. A win lifts Atletico Madrid into the thick of a title challenge, while a win for Barcelona puts them even further ahead.
There is a sense that Barcelona are cranking things up. They are getting more players forward from midfield and that is creating more space for the likes of Messi and Suarez.
GETTING WARMED! For the first time in the game, Rakitic pushes forward, creating space for Messi just inside the box. So often he finishes from there, but he shoots wide this time.
There is a real edge to this match. Barcelona realise what’s at stake in the final 20 minutes of this match. Their excellent start to the league season could come to an end here.
That’s much more like it from Barcelona. They are playing with a much higher tempo in and around the edge of the penalty area. They need to start shifting Atletico out of position.
MESSI SHOT SAVED! Good exchange play between Messi and Suarez inside the box results in the shot being taken by the Argentine, but his effort is straight at Oblak in the Atleti goal.
OFFNÉLSON SEMEDOFC BARCELONA
ONSERGI ROBERTOFC BARCELONA
And then Roberto comes on for the second Barcelona change of the night.
OFFANDRÉS INIESTAFC BARCELONA
ONGERARD DEULOFEUFC BARCELONA
Barcelona finally make a change and Iniesta comes off. That’s a bold move.
PENALTY CLAIM! Should that have been a spot kick to Barcelona? The ball appeared to strike the arm of Savic inside the area, but the refere waves away the claims of the visitors.
That change from Simeone will surely see Atletico Madrid switch tactics slightly. Gaitan is more of a wide midfielder, which means Griezman will play as more of a central forward.
OFFÁNGEL CORREAATLÉTICO MADRID
ONNICOLÁS GAITÁNATLÉTICO MADRID
It’s actually Atletico who are going to make the first change, with Correa coming off for Gaitan.
MESSI HITS THE POST! Oblak was nowhere near that. Messi strikes a freekick towards the Atletico Madrid goal, beating the Slovenian but not beating the woodwork. Man, that was close.
Surely it’s time for Barcelona to make a change here? Both Deulofeu and Roberto have been warming up down on the touchline for quite some time. Will we see one of them soon?
SUAREZ SHOT IS SAVED! The Barcelona striker takes aim from just inside the box, but his shot is too close to Oblak and the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper can beat the effort away.
Carrasco takes the ball, swivels and attempts to drive towards the Barcelona goal. But he shows too much of the ball to Pique, who ultimately wins it from the Belgian attacker.
GRIEZMANN STRIKES FIRST TIME! A wonderful cros-field ball is played to Griezmann, who did so well to peel away from his marker, but he fires wide of the post on the first time half volley.
Atletico Madrid have emerged for the start of the second half with a bit more attacking intent. Griezmann and Juanfran are leading the counter attacks for the home side since the restart.
It looked like Umtiti had given away the corner kick. The Barcelona defender slipped just as he tried to make the clearance and the ball looked as though it crossed the line, I must say.
BIZARRE CROSS! Alba was played in wonderfully, with the left back given time and space to pick out a teammate, but he floats it over the head of both Messi and Suarez in the middle.
No changes by either side at the break, which is surprising in the case of Barcelona. I thought Valverde might take off Gomes such was the last of impression made by him in the first half.
CARRASCO TAKES AIM! Atletico Madrid work a short corner, with Carrasco getting the shot away on goal, but Ter Stegen was alert to the plot and makes the save at his near post.
- 2ND HALF
The second half is under way! Atletico Madrid have a 1-0 lead over Barcelona.
What did you make of the first half at the Wanda Metropolitano? What changes does Valverde need to make? Should Gomes be hooked? Have Atleti got this in the bag? Tweet me!
- END OF 1ST HALF
HALF TIME: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona. The away side have dominated the possession, but it’s the hosts who head into the half time break with the lead. They have been organised at the back.
YELLOW CARDIVAN RAKITICFC BARCELONA
The referee brings back the play to book Rakitic for a foul on Griezmann.
It’s just not happening for Barcelona in and around the penalty area. Atletico Madrid are sticking close to every man, plugging every gap. They are so well organised at the back.
Barcelona are now moving the bal around a little bit quicker. They are looking for an equaliser before the half time interval. They know that the first half is close to coming to an end.
BIG TACKLE FROM SAVIC! Iniesta threads a pass into Suarez, with the Barcelona striker turning and getting a shot away at goal, but Savic was touch tight to get a block in.
Iniesta takes on a pot shot from about 25 yards out and drags his effort well wide of the target. That kind of sums up the performance of Barcelona so far. They are out of ideas.
Simeone will be pleased with how this first half has gone so far, despite his side being forced to defend for much of it. Barcelona are playing right into the hands of Atletico Madrid.
The home fans aren’t happy. The referee has awarded Barcelona a freekick in a dangerous position for a hand ball, but the Atletico Madrid centre back doesn’t agree with the decision.
If things stay the way they are, Valverde must surely consider making a change at the break. They need someone to give them some energy and creativity. They need penetration.
Once again, the passing from Barcelona is loose, and loose in their own half as well! What are they playing at? They really haven’t been at the races so far this evening.
Atletico Madrid are just so quick on the counter attack. They aren’t seeing much of the ball, but when they have it Barcelona look flustered at the pace the home side are attacking with.
Gomes has been a scapegoat for Barcelona over the past year, but it’s easy to see why. What exactly is he offering his side? Why did Valverde throw him into the starting lineup? What’s his job?
The away side need Iniesta to take a grip of things around the edge of the box. The playmaker might be the key to breaking down this stubborn Atletico Madrid defensive line.
For all that Barcelona have seen more of the ball in this first half so far, they haven’t done enough with it in the final third. Atletico Madrid have looked comfortable at the back.
Barcelona just allowed Saul far too much space on the edge of the box to get his shot away. Ter Stegen had denied Griezmann twice, but there was nothing he could do about this one.
You wouldn’t say that goal came against the run of play because that’s what Atletico Madrid do and what they have done for years, but Barcelona will feel aggrieved to be behind.
GOALSAÚL ÑÍGUEZATLÉTICO MADRID
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Atletico Madrid 1 (21 mins – Saul Niguez) Barcelona 0. The hosts have the lead and the Metropolitano has just erupted! Saul has a reputation of big goals in big games and he has another, finding the corner of the net from the edge of the box.
Gomes is struggling to make an impression for Barcelona early on in this first half. It’s surprising that he was chosen to start ahead of the likes of Roberto, Vidal and Deulofeu.
Barcelona are doing their best to slow down the tempo of the game when they have the ball. On the other hand, Atletico Madrid want to hit out on the lightning counter when they win it.
This is fascinating to watch. Both these sides are exceptionally well drilled at what they do and have the individual quality to make things happen in the final third of the pitch.
YELLOW CARDGABIATLÉTICO MADRID
There’s the first booking of the match and it’s shown to Gabi.
Now it’s Barcelona’s turn to take control of the ball and press for an opener. This match is going in waves at the moment. Atletico Madrid are having to sit deep to keep the visitors at bay.
This has been an incredible start to this match. Barcelona came flying out of the traps only for Atletico Madrid to respond in style themselves. We have a match on our hands here.
GRIEZMANN IS ON FIRE! Wow! What a goal that would have been. Griezmann knocks the ball through the legs of Pique and surges into the box, but Ter Stegen makes the save with his legs.
After an impressive start in the opening few minutes, Barcelona now look a little less sure of themselves. They are being exceptionally loose with some of their passing in their own half.
GRIEZMANN DRAWS THE SAVE! The Frenchman is played into the right channel, sorting out his feet quickly to get his shot away, but Ter Stegen covered his near post to make the save.
There is one big surprise in the Barcelona lineup for this game. Valverde has selected Gomes to start up front alongside Messi and Suarez. This is his first Liga start of the season.
It’s noticeable that there are a lot of Spanish flags around the Wanda Metropolitano. Of course, Spain and Catalonia is still wound tight over the events of two weeks ago. You can tell.
Simeone isn’t happy with his players. The Argentine coach is gesturing down on the touchline. Indeed, Atletico Madrid have allowed Barcelona to take a grip of the play early on.
INIESTA SHOT! Barcelona have started this match on the front foot, taking the game to the home side, but this time Iniesta sends his effort straight at Oblak. Decent effort from the playmaker.
Well, there were some questions over Messi’s sharpness after playing for Argentina in World Cup qualifying during the week, but on the basis of the first few minutes, he’s raring to go.
WHAT A START! Messi comes so close to opening the scoring within 30 seconds of kick off! He dribbled through about Atletico defenders before squeezing a shot away, but it strikes the side netting.
- 1ST HALF
The match is under way! It’s Atletico Madrid against Barcelona in La Liga.
TEAM NEWS: Atletico Madrid – Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Filipe, Koke, Gabi, Saul, Carrasco, Correa, Griezmann. /// Barcelona – Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Gomes, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez.
I’m Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the game to let me know your thoughts. Which way do you see this going? How much of a bearing will this have on the title race?
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport’s LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. We’ll bring you all the action as it happens. Kick off it at 7.45pm.