Lionel Messi conjured a moment of magic to propel Barcelona to the top of La Liga with victory at Atletico Madrid.
Lionel Messi scored a dramatic late winner as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to return to the summit of LaLiga on Sunday.
Real Madrid had temporarily claimed top spot on Saturday after a 2-1 win at Alaves but Barca’s victory put them ahead on goal difference.
Atletico had enjoyed the best of the chances in an engrossing contest but remain winless in 19 LaLiga games against the Catalans.
Ernesto Valverdes’s side were indebted to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for two breath-taking saves in the first half.
La Liga Standings
7′ Off the POST! Junior Firpo almost scores own goal
OFF THE INSIDE OF THE POST! Atletico Madrid assault the Barcelona penalty area following a far-post cross, and it’s kept alive inside the area by Hermoso despite an attempted clearance by Firpo. The centre-back takes the Barcelona defender on and flashes a shot across the net from a tight angle – only to be denied by the woodwork!
19′ WHAT A SAVE from Ter Stegen!! Hermoso’s shot denied
The free-kick is taken to the far post where it’s cleared, but Joao Felix puts it back into the box from the other flank, finding a wide-open Hermoso. The centre-back is again in a perfect position to open the scoring, hit his hit with the inside of his right foot is saved by the inside of Ter Stegen’s leg! It should really be 1-0!
25′ Chance! Rakitic wastes a good opportunity
Barcelona are seemingly finding their feet as Rakitic forces a great save out of Oblak following a Messi assist and Suarez dummy – but despite not capitalising, they maintain possession and build again.
41′ Again! Ter Stegen makes a great save
TER STEGEN MAKES AN ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING STOP! An Atletico Madrid corner is taken to the outside of the six-yard box, where Morata attacks it freely with a terrific downwards header from point-blank range. Ter Stegen immediately stoops to the ground and uses his right arm to scoop away the effort – putting it far from his goal in the process.
43′ CLOSE! Pique header hits the beam!
PIQUE PUTS IT OFF THE CROSSBAR! Unbelievable scenes at the Metropolitano as the Barcelona centre-back powers a header towards Oblak’s goal following a corner, beating the goalkeeper but putting his attempt off the bar! There’s certainly no shortage of opportunities in this match!
60′ SAVE! Messi’s long distance effort is spilled by Oblak
Messi gets away from the presence of Morata, before hitting a shot at Oblak that requires the goalkeeper to palm it down before grabbing it at the second time of asking.
68′ Miss! Griezmann volleys over!
GRIEZMANN VOLLEYS OVER! A Barcelona counter-attack comes to life through Messi, who avoids a sliding challenge from Vitolo and dances away from a defender before pushing it forward to Suarez. The striker then crosses it to the opposite side of the penalty area for Griezmann – whose first-time effort sails over the bar to a chorus of whistles.
86′ GOAL! Atletico 0-1 Barcelona (Messi)
MESSI MAKES THE DIFFERENCE! It simply had to be the Barcelona captain! He plays a neat one-two pass with Suarez around the edge of the penalty area and dispatches a shot with his left foot that beats Oblak at the bottom left corner! 1-0 Barcelona!
At the 86′ minute Messi scores a magnificent goal to send Barca to the top of the table.
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