Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 on Sunday to move eight points clear at the top of La Liga, and while it was not a scintillating display there was plenty to admire.
Ernesto Valverde’s side once again did not produce an enthralling, exhilarating display of attacking football and there will undoubtedly be some criticism for that from some quarters.
However, they did win an extremely important match and also ensured that Atletico Madrid’s in-form forwards Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann barely had a sniff all game.
As shown by Marca (below) Barca were by far the more dangerous team. They created eight more chances and had far more shots. In fact Atletico only managed one on target in the whole game.
STATISTICS: @FCBarcelona 1-0 @atletienglish— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) March 4, 2018
Barcelona created 8 chances more than Atletico.
Barcelona had 16 shots, compared to Atletico's 6. Only 1 Atleti shot was on target.
Atletico completed more passes than Barcelona in the second half (203 to 186). pic.twitter.com/Q4qzR36cb1
Atletico may have outpassed Barca in the second half but overall it was Barcelona who completed more passes over the 90 minutes. They also boasted a better pass accuracy and created more chances.
Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid FT:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 4, 2018
Pass accuracy: 86%-81%
Chances created: 13-5
Lionel Messi's 600 competitive goal gives Barcelona the win. pic.twitter.com/6Ue547hB38
Barcelona’s win means they remain unbeaten in the league this season and are now 34 games without defeat in La Liga. There’s also a rather interesting stat that Opta have dug up about eight-point leads.
Barcelona have also now made it a century of goals this season, this is how it breaks down.
Barça reach 100 goals for the season!— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 4, 2018
32 - Messi
23 - Luis Suárez
8 - Paulinho
5 - Alcácer
4 - Rakitic
3 - Piqué, Denis, Arnaiz & Jordi Alba
2 - Coutinho, Deulofeu, Aleix Vidal
1 - Busquets, Digne, Iniesta & Sergi Roberto
6 - Own goals pic.twitter.com/jRPpP7v3M1
The game was also manager Ernesto Valverde’s first La Liga win over Diego Simeone on his 13th attempt.