Messi Ensures Three Points, As Barcelona Beat Atletico Madrid To Keep La Liga Title Race Alive

The Catalonian side managed to see off their title rivals Atletico Madrid at the Vincente Calderon with Lionel Messi scoring the winning goal after the full time whistle ended the game 2-1 in favor of Barcelona. The win pushed them temporarily at the top of the table before Real Madrid won their game against Villareal to claim top spot on Sunday.

In match with intense pressure mixed with physical and tactical battles, Atletico Madrid made it difficult for the visitors to play football in their normal fluent manner but still came short in the final few minutes as Messi made them pay for their few mistakes and cost them a share of the spoils.

Atletico looked the better of the two teams on the outset as they began the game on the front foot with Griezmann drawing a stunning save from Ter Stegen in the initial stage with Carrasco and Diego Godin going close to opening the scoring for the home side.

The only threat Barcelona provided was through a Lionel Messi free-kick that Atleti keeper Jan Oblak tipped over, while Luis Suarez had a goal ruled out due to handball and a foul on Oblak, in the same incident.

The second half begun with both teams wanting to open the scoring and Luis Suarez scuffed an effort when he was put through on goal by Messi and Ter Stegen was again called upon by Griezmann with a fierce shot that he saved at his near post.

Despite Atletico’s dominance, Barcelona managed to get the lead in the second half when Rafinha managed to squeeze in his effort after Suarez made a nuisance of himself in front of Atletico’s defense as the ball dropped to the Brazilian’s feet and he tucked in a neat finish into the bottom corner of the net in the 64th minute of the game.

However, their lead lasted only 5 minutes when Uruguayan defender Diego Godin rose up high to meet Koke’s cross from a free-kick to glance Atletico on level terms. There was nothing Ter Stegen could do about the header as the hosts looked to again spoil the party for the visiting team.

However, due to some slack defending late on Barcelona snatched the lead when Messi’s shot was blocked but the Argentinian managed to latch onto the loose ball and steer it into the net with a first time finish into the same spot Rafinha placed the ball to give his side the lead and the three points with just 5 minutes on the clock.

Barcelona managed to hang on and beat the Madrid side in their backyard, this win could prove to be a huge boost in terms of their title chances and even in Luis Enrique’s side’s confidence.

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