UEFA Champions League: Atlético Madrid 1-0 FC Barcelona: Match Review

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

A recap of Barcelona's 1-0 defeat to Atlético Madrid which threw them out of the Champions League.

Barcelona entered the game knowing it was crunch time. Draw after draw this season with Atlético meant these two had become nearly inseparable. Tata Martino had described the first goal as crucial. If Barcelona got it, they became favourites. If Atlético did, they were favourites to progress. The Vincente Calderón was truly up for this as both teams made their way onto the field.


Atlético Madrid

Barcelona

Possession

29%

71%

Total Shots

15

12

Shots on Target

5

3

Pass Accuracy

63%

88%

Corners

6

7

Fouls

15

9

Offsides

4

0

Yellow Cards

1

2

Red Cards

0

0

The game started in the worst possible way for Barcelona as Atlético were in their faces from the get-go. They pressured high and were intense which led to the Barça defence making mistakes. Mistakes which should have been punished. Raúl García had a shot towards goal before the man who replaced Diego Costa, Adrian, struck an effort goal-wards. The ball cannoned back off the inside of the post and the Barcelona defence stood frozen.

David Villa picked up the loose ball on the left side but Dani Alves was too slow to reach him and the ex-Barça man managed to swing in a cross. The cross was met by Adrian who saw his shot saved by Pinto but again the defence was stood ball watching. The unmarked Koke met the rebound and headed it into the Barcelona net. Atlético had got the crucial first goal that Tata Martino spoke of.

Barcelona's night looked like it was going to get considerably worse. Atlético, mainly through Villa, were looking ruthless. The man who scored Atletico's goal in the Supercopa meetings was terribly unlucky not to hit the back of the net. The goalscorer Koke slid the ball into Villa's path and after a brief tussle with Bartra, El Guaje fired the ball onto the underside of the bar.

The Catalans had appeared to have weathered the storm and started to get reacquainted with the ball. Cesc Fàbregas fired a tame shot into Courtois' gloves before Messi was left unmarked in the Atléti area. The Argentine was picked out by Dani Alves but angled his header just wide of the post.

Five minutes later, Villa was once again cursing the woodwork. Another shot cannoned off the bar as a flick on left Mascherano stranded. Barcelona were desperately trying to gain superiority and Neymar produced some sublime skill to work his way up the left flank. A quick nutmeg and he found the space to cross to Messi but again the Barça number ten couldn't get his effort on target.

Atlético were restricting Barcelona to long range efforts and the teams went into halftime with Atlético leading 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate. Barcelona started the second half much better then they did the first, quicker and looking more dangerous.

A Xavi through ball picked out Neymar but Courtois smothered him. The Brazilian couldn't get his shot off and the ball seemed to fall kindly to Messi. The view ahead of Messi would have been one awash with red and white shirts. He tried to flick the ball onto his left which would allow a more precise shot but the Atléti defence surrounded him.

The ball eventually found it's way to Xavi whose header appeared to be looping over Courtois and in but it beat the bar as well. Barcelona were unhooking the kitchen sink, preparing to throw it at Atlético. Jordi Alba covered a lot of ground to get into the Atlético box but the left-back handled the cross.

Atlético sat back further and further as Tata Martino looked to introduce Alexis Sánchez and Pedro. Iniesta and Fàbregas were the ones who made way and both had been quiet.  Xavi looked the liveliest midfielder and he was again granted a free header but the result was similar to Messi's effort in the first half.

Diego, who scored the wonder-goal in the first leg entered the fray and it wasn't long before he was troubling Pinto. His run into the box was poorly tracked but Pinto bailed his defence out with a good save.

Barcelona ran into that familiar situation of being unable to break down well organised defences. Messi had been quiet all game and couldn't find a way in. The Vincente Calderón grew louder and louder as Atlético fans sensed it might just be their night.

Barcelona, through Dani Alves, fired the ball in from wide but it was ineffective. Howard Webb blew the final whistle and the stadium erupted. Barcelona were outplayed.

Roll Call

Roll Call Info
Total comments 669
Total commenters 47
Commenter list AL_LM10, Alphie Ali, Anders Thomassen, Barca.soldier007, Barca4ever, BartraFTW, BenX6, Bobby213, Eddie Pundell, FCB4Ever, FCBMessi, FCBblaug, Giancarlo8, Harshiv Karia, Ian Reynolds, Inder Methil, Iniesta_obsession, Jairo Guardado, Jonni, LEastCoastBears, LaSenyera, Lapulga, NoImagination90, Ricardo Blonde, Richzorz, Sam Cooper, Som-i-Serem, Tokjee, Uncharted_Almo, ViscaViscaBarca, barca96, brodiebomber, craig00000, cule-since-1992, david.james, dhirar.amri, endico, feeya7, footballfordoze, justdoit94, magical_messi, papant7, pogis1991, puyol_5, rnmrqz, stocks712, syredeathtrooper
# Commenter # Comments
1 FCBblaug 95
2 Anders Thomassen 62
3 Inder Methil 47
4 Bobby213 43
5 syredeathtrooper 37
6 Uncharted_Almo 33
7 feeya7 24
8 footballfordoze 24
9 cule-since-1992 22
10 Ian Reynolds 21

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