Barca retook the top spot on Sunday night with a late goal against Atletico from Messi which left Diego Simeone applauding
On Sunday night Atletico Madrid hosted Barcelona in a huge game at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Barca were looking to regain top spot on goal difference ahead of Real Madrid. For Atletico, a win would bring them to 28 points which would have put them level with Barca.
It was always going to be a tough game for both sides. Barca hadn't won away to Atletico since February 2017, with Simeone never beating Barca in 15 league games as manager.
This was also to be a big return for Antoine Griezmann. The French forward left Atletico in the summer to join Barca. The transfer drew a lot of criticism as Griezmann seemingly manager to help Barca get a cheaper deal.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
The game was very end to end with the hosts have three huge chances in the first half. The post came to the rescue for Firpo and a cross deflected off him towards his own goal. Ter Stegen then pulled off two fantastic saves to stop Hermoso and Morata from opening the scoring.
Barca also had chances of their own in the first half. Gerard Pique coming closest when he saw his header crash off the crossbar.
The visitors had the better of the second half with Griezmann coming close early on. A good pass from Suarez that he then tried to volley goalwards but fired wide much to the home fans delight.
With not much time left, it appeared that the game would be ending a draw. But then the big man steps up for the big occasion. Messi dribbled goal-bound playing a one-two off of Suarez. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner struck it first time into the bottom left corner leaving Oblak no chance.
Simeone could be seen on the line urging his players to stop him before having to just stand there and applaud how well Messi had done.
Diego Simeone's reaction to Messi's goal yesterday against Atletico is priceless. Appreciating greatness. 🇦🇷 pic.twitter.com/8C3mrN7GSp
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) December 2, 2019
La Liga and Champions League
The win now takes Barca level with Real Madrid on 31 points. They are ahead on goal difference by just one goal. Even though they are level, Barca are the clear favourites with Betfred at 2/5. Real are at a very interesting price of 2/1 and if they can get Hazard at his best there's no reason why they can't keep up. Atletico are back in 6th place but only six points behind. Betfred isn't giving them much chance having priced them at 50/1 to win!
Both sides are still in the Champions League but Atletico Madrid has work to do, unlike Barca. They need to get a win on the final matchday to progress to the last 16. This is why they are at 25/1 and Betfred have Barca as one of the favourites at 6/1.