There were no surprises at the Camp Nou tonight -no surprises in the line ups, in the tactics both teams chose, the way Barça had to work hard to breakdown the visitors’ rock solid and tough tackling defence and in the end, after three draws already this season, no surprise in the result. Diego conjured up a wonder strike from nowhere to give Atletico the lead on 55 minutes, but Barça dug deep and Neymar’s equaliser leaves it all to play for at the Calderon next week.
The one-all draw at the Camp Nou leaves the tie open, according to Xavi Hernández. "It’s wide open. We have to try to score goals there and that will lead us to victory," said the midfielder. The FC Barcelona captain added that "the result isn’t good for us but Barça played well enough to win." He added: "We had more goalscoring chances but they are well organised on defence and they don’t leave any space."
After the match, Gerardo Martino said this was "the game against Atlético that rendered the most goalscoring chances" and he was clear that he’s satisfied "with how the team played." He added: "This is the first time we’ve played with the ‘4 pequeños’ (four small guys: Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta, Messi) [against Atlético]. I don’t think that we have a large set of variants. We always play the same way, everyone knows how we’re going to play and we almost always win."
Barcelona and Atlético Madrid's chances of silverware have been dealt potentially devastating blows after they lost key players to injury in Tuesday's Champions League match, with the home side's centre-back Gerard Piqué damaging a hip and the visitors' top scorer Diego Costa limping off with a hamstring strain. Barça said Piqué would be out for around four weeks while Costa, who was doubtful for the match with a groin injury, will need more tests to determine how long he will be out of action.
It was honors even when the opening legs of this year's Champions League quarterfinals took place on Tuesday. The games between Manchester United and Bayern Munich, and Barcelona's all-Spanish duel with Atletico Madrid, both ended 1-1. In England, the 2012-13 league winners opened the scoring through Nemanja Vidic only for Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was sent off late on, to draw the defending champions level.
"We are the same players and the same team," the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder said. "We are really motivated and have put last season behind us. We have to focus on the match. We can't lose our heads just because we lost the last matches against them."
"Real Madrid came into the Clasico better than Barcelona and lost," Crespo told Goal. "I don't have enough courage to bet against Lionel Messi in the title race." The ex-Inter and Chelsea forward also muses that Madrid, Barca and Bayern Munich are joint-favourites for European glory this campaign, expressing that such massive clubs will always have the psychological advantage.
Gerardo Martino completed his 50th match on the Barça bench this Tuesday evening, against Atlético Madrid. The Argentinian was presented as Barça’s manager on 26 July and since then he’s led the team to a Spanish Super Cup victory, and his men are in the hunt for the league title alongside Atlético Madrid, in the Champions League quarter-finals and in the final of the Cup.
Real Madrid defender Marcelo has moved to play down talk of a summer transfer amid rumours of an impending bid from Liverpool. The Premier League title chasing Reds are rumoured to be lining up a £25m bid for the Brazil international.