With late goals from Suarez and Messi, FC Barcelona was finally able to beat a 10-men Atletico Madrid after Diego Costa’s first-half red card.
This was the most important match of the weekend in La Liga, the two top clubs of the competition met at Camp Nou to see if Barcelona would escape at the top or Atletico Madrid could get a little closer to them in the competition.
We all knew the type of match that we could expect from Camp Nou today, a defensive Atletico Madrid that would rely mostly on their fighting spirit to find a possible crack where they could hurt this powerful FC Barcelona side.
Both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez came to this match on probably the best form of the last four years, the Uruguay international just woke himself up in the most crucial moment of the season after scoring that ridiculous and thrilling equalizer at Villarreal during the midweek fixture in La Liga.
Messi has been performing at the top of his game even though he’s been suffering muscular problems on his groin, but he is completely sold on performing his best football in all the competitions they are fighting for during this final stretch of the season.
A good result against the Colchoneros today was tremendously helpful for their upcoming Champions League match against Manchester United next Wednesday, which will be played at Old Trafford.
69 key passes.
ONE LIONEL MESSI. 👽 pic.twitter.com/QqXl7Fyn9k
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) April 6, 2019
The first half of the match started with Atletico Madrid players extremely nervous for the setting, the Camp Nou crowd was pushing against them from the very first minute and their favorite target was obviously Diego Costa.
The Brazilian Spain international is arguably one of the most explosive players in the world, he tends to lose his mind during high profile matches such as this one and he proved that he could be uncontrollable from the very first minute of the match.
There were a couple of tackles he made that the referee decided to overlook for the sake of the match, getting Costa sent off so soon would compromise the show and referee Gil Manzano completely understood this but Diego Costa crossed the line before the first half hour of the match arrived.
The striker made a reckless tackle on Arthur right in the middle of the pitch, the ref called it and seemed like he would book the player but Costa’s reaction against him went too far.
It is still unclear what Diego Costa specifically told Manzano to make him react the way he did, it was a direct red card that left Atletico Madrid with ten players for the remaining full hour of the game.
We all knew what was going to happen next, Atletico Madrid would get even more defensive than they already were and Barcelona was going to struggle to score a single goal.
✅ Most wins in @LaLiga history:Neymar named Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos as the toughest rival he's faced and hailed his old Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as the world's best player.
🇦🇷 Lionel Messi: 335
🇪🇸 Iker Casillas: 334
🇪🇸 Andoni Zubizarreta: 333
🇪🇸 Raúl: 324
🇪🇸 Xavi: 322
🇪🇸 Andrés Iniesta: 312
🇪🇸 Manuel Sanchís: 312
🇪🇸 Sergio Ramos: 301
🤷♂️ Another day, another record. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/7dMHdOAXPd
— SPORF (@Sporf) April 6, 2019
As pretty much everybody called it, Atletico Madrid became a punching bag and Jan Oblak made countless saved that prevented Barcelona to score a goal during the second half.
The Colchoneros held this result until the final five minutes of the game, but Messi and Suarez insisted too much to get their goals and the visiting side would eventually break their concentration.
Suarez was the one who ultimately scored the goal that completely broke the game, he sent a curled effort from a long distance straight to the far bottom corner where Oblak couldn’t do anything to stop it.
Barcelona had their goal, but Messi was still not satisfied. Only a minute after Suarez got that winner, Messi received a ball with a lot of ground to cover and only a couple defenders to try and stop him.
While everybody kept expecting Leo to take his usual shot to the far corner, Messi decided to deceive even his teammates and just gently pushed the ball to the closer corner where nobody expected him to finish.
This second goal is what gave FC Barcelona the definitive three points that could very well mean La Liga title for them, as they are now 11 points clear of the Colchoneros at the very top.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) April 6, 2019
What do you think about FC Barcelona’s performance tonight? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.