Barcelona continues to be perfect in La Liga, as the Blaugranes won their third straight game at Vicente Calderón coming from behind against Atlético Madrid, winning 2-1 with goals from Neymar Jr. and Lionel Messi after Fernando Torres opened the score for the Colchoneros. The Argentine superstar, who scored the game-winner, came off the bench to give the Blaugrana the win and dedicate his goal for his new son, Mateo.
When the referee screws up, then there's not much you can do.
It was a classic Atlético vs Barça affair: the Colchoneros sitting back on defense, happy to give away plenty of possession, and trying to capitalize on any mistakes. But only two of them happened, both courtesy of Javier Mascherano, and Atleti wasn't able to bring any danger to league-debuting keeper Ter Stegen. With the ball, Barça was very dominating, really pinning the opposition in their own half. Andrés Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic were very involved, and they combined to create a big chance at the start, but the Croatian's shot was stopped by Jan Oblak.
A few minutes later, as Thomas Vermaelen got injured again, Luis Suárez hit the crossbar, and Barça showed they were very deserving of at least one goal. And they could have come in the form of two clear penalties in favor of the Blaugrana via two handballs in the box by center-back José Giménez, but referee Mateu Lahoz somehow missed them both.
It ended scoreless at the half, but it was another very good performance by Luis Enrique's side.
After a boring-ish first 45 minutes, the Colchoneros came back with another attitude: score first, defend later. And they did it very quickly. Taking advantage of a miscommunication between Barça's defenders, Fernando Torres found himself alone in the box, one-on-one with Ter Stegen, and he chose which side to go and softly used the post to find the the net and open the score. With the goal, Atleti was clearly ready to defend the lead to death, but they couldn't. Just a few minutes later, Neymar Jr. played a spectacular free-kick to the top corner and scored the equalizer.
Immediately after the goal, Luis Enrique subbed Lionel Messi onto the field, and the game changed. Barça absolutely dominated the hosts, but started creating a lot more chances. Neymar could have had the second, but Diego Godín saved Atleti with a handball (no penalty given, but whatever). The second Blaugrana goal looked like an inevitable conclusion to the game, and it happened. Neymar recovered a ball close to the box, Jordi Alba passed it to Suárez, and the Uruguayan played a beautiful first touch assist to Messi, who scored the game-winner with a sweet shot using the outside of his foot.
It didn't look pretty for most of the game, but Barça ultimately prevailed. Thanks to 'MSN'.
Atlético de Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Godín, Giménez, Luis; Óliver (Carrasco), Gabi (Vietto), Tiago, Koke; Griezmann, Torres (Martínez)
Goal: Torres (51')
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Mascherano, Vermaelen (Mathieu), Alba; Busquets, Rakitic (Messi), Iniesta; Rafinha, Suárez, Neymar
Goals: Neymar (55'), Messi (77')