In four months time, Atletico Madrid may well look back on this game with a hint of regret. Regret about what might have been, if only they had shown a little more urgency. If only they had shown a little more intent.
If only they had shown their true pedigree.
As things stand, Atletico Madrid must pray that they can keep pace with the Blaugrana through the next eighteen Jornadas, before stealing a win at the Camp Nou to clinch the title. And even then, both sides have to keep a close eye on Real Madrid, who could cut the gap to top spot to just three points tonight.
Let's be honest though; Atletico Madrid probably won't be able to keep up. Offensively, they are over-reliant on Diego Costa, and Javier Mascherano displayed last night that the Spanish striker is distinctly average when it comes to the technical aspects of the game. Thibaut Courtois is a sensational keeper, but is not without his faults, least of all his less-than inspiring ability to "deal with pressure". Against a high-line of Barcelona pressure, the Belgian keeper was forced to relent possession often; certainly Barca appeared to make the right decision in reportedly opting for Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona on the other hand can look forward to reintegrating Lionel Messi and Neymar back into the starting line-up. They can look forward to better performances from Dani Alves, and perhaps a full 90 minutes from Andres Iniesta too.
There was a sense from last night's game that this is as good as it's going to get for Atletico Madrid. Barcelona on the other hand, are just warming up.
- From The Mind of Xoel: Barça Gets a Good 0-0 Draw at Atletico
- La Liga: Atletico Madrid 0-0 FC Barcelona: Match Review
- La Liga: Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Live Game Thread
- FC Barcelona News: 11 January 2014; 22 Players in Squad for Atletico Madrid Clash, Afellay and Alves Also Make Trip
- La Liga: FC Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid: Predict the Score