Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scores as Barcelona gunned nine-man Atletico Madrid

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored as Barcelona came from behind to beat nine-man Atletico Madrid and go three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Atletico, who started the day level with the defending champions, took an early lead when Koke fired home.

But Messi slotted in the equaliser after 31 minutes and Suarez raced clear to score his 19th league goal of the season eight minutes later.

Atletico had Filipe Luis and Diego Godin sent off for bad challenges.

Title in the bag for Barca?

With a game in hand and a three-point lead at the top of the table it looks like Barcelona’s title to lose now.

Luis Enrique’s side have won five of their six league games since the winter break and are beginning to look unstoppable with 17 games to go.

Their remaining fixtures do not look too demanding, bar a visit from Real Madrid, who are now seven points back, at the start of April.

This may have been Atletico’s last chance to stay in the hunt but they have now not won in 10 league attempts at the Nou Camp and with Barca doing the double for a second successive season, there may be no way back for Diego Simeone’s men.

Red for danger

Filipe Luis is sent off for Atletico Madrid at Barcelona
Filipe Luis is sent off for Atletico Madrid at Barcelona

Atletico’s lack of discipline may have cost them their last tilt at the title after Luis and Godin were both sent off for needless challenges.

Luis’ dangerous lunge at Messi just before half-time was as crude as it was reckless by the former Chelsea defender.

Barcelona coach Enrique was furious but Messi managed to avoid injury and his side was handed a one-man advantage.

Atletico were not out of it and still managed to create chances as they looked to fight back from 2-1 down.

But another wild challenge from Godin on Suarez, which could have earned him a straight red rather than a second yellow, left them too much to do as they played the final half-hour with only nine men.

Man of the match

Luis Suarez scores for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid
Luis Suarez was not at his best and even against nine men he, Lionel Messi and Neymar were unable to run riot. But when Barca need a goal Suarez is invariably the man and his calm finish to give him 31 goals for the season was ultimately the difference between the teams.

Most Read

Facebook Comments

Translate »