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Three things we learned from Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona

A closer look at Saturday’s match

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Dembele’s having a big influence on Barca’s season

Ousmane Dembele made headlines again on Saturday night, but this time it was for all the right reasons as he salvaged a point for Barcelona with another important goal.

There’s been plenty of criticism directed at Dembele lately, but the stats show just how important his goals have been this season.

Without those seven points Barcelona would be down in seventh in the table, below Real Madrid and level with Levante and Eibar.

Dembele now has seven goals in 16 appearances this season despite not managing to consistently find his best form.

There are still question marks over whether he has the attitude and personality to succeed at the Camp Nou, there’s no doubt at all that he has the talent.

Barcelona still can’t keep a clean sheet

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Barcelona put in a vastly-improved defensive display against Atletico Madrid, with Samuel Umtiti back from injury and Sergi Roberto shifted into midfield.

Ernesto Valverde opted to pack his midfield for the match with Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Arthur and Arturo Vidal which also helped protect the Barca defence.

However, despite it all they still failed to keep a clean sheet. Diego Costa outjumped Rafinha and his header managed to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

That’s now 11 matches in a row without a shut-out in La Liga. Barce have conceded 19 goals in 13 games, more than twice as many as Atletico.

La Liga title race is still wide open

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Saturday’s game provided Barcelona and Atletico with an excellent opportunity to gain some ground in the title race, particularly with Real Madrid losing 3-0 earlier in the day.

A win for Atletico would have seen Diego Simeone’s side go top, while Barcelona could have stretched their lead over the Rojiblancos to four points.

Ultimately both sides had to settle for a point, which you suspect neither manager will be too unhappy about.

The end result is that the title race is still incredibly close. Just five points separate the top six, and Sevilla may yet end the weekend at the top of the pile.

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