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Atlético Madrid v Barcelona Live Commentary & Result, 21/11/2020, Primera División


Atletico continue their excellent start then while Barca seem stuck in their existential crisis. As long as this goes on, the top of La Liga will be fascinating viewing. That’s all for now. Goodbye!

Atletico’s win lifts them to second in La Liga, behind Real Sociedad on goals scored. Atletico have a game in hand though and their unbeaten run in the league now stretches to 24 games. They look like title contenders. Barca stay in 10th. Koeman will find himself under serious pressure if Barca don’t climb the table quickly.

Atletico end their 20-game winless run against Barcelona in La Liga! Simeone looks delighted. Carrasco’s goal proved to be the difference as he capitalised on ter Stegen’s error. Barca had their chances, most notably through Lenglet and Griezmann, but met their match in Oblak. Barca’s stuttering start under Koeman continues.

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90′ + 5′ FULL-TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 1-0 BARCELONA

90′ + 4′ Barca have a corner down their left. Coutinho swings it in and Costa smashes it towards the halfway line. ter Stegen picks it up and Barca attack once more. The ball takes a heart-stopping deflection in the box and Oblak wisely puts his foot through it. That’s that!

90′ + 2′ Roberto’s picked up a knock of some kind and can’t continue. Barca have used all their subs though so they’re down to 10 men for the last few minutes.

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90′ + 1′ Atletico substitution. The bustling Carrasco gets the last few minutes off. Felipe is on for him.

90′ Atletico are five minutes away from their first home win over Barca in La Liga since February 2010.

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89′ A slightly desperate Roberto goes for goal from distance. It hits Gimenez and goes out for a corner. That could have wrongfooted Oblak. Atletico survive the corner.

87′ Barca are still threatening but not as much as you’d expect them to be at this stage. Trincao fires high and wide from outside the box, then Braithwaite has a shot blocked when Atletico fluff their clearance.

85′ Atletico win a corner down their right off de Jong. The corner lands to Carrasco in the box but Carrasco – probably the man of the match – fires way over.

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84′ Correa also gets a rest for the last few minutes. Kondogbia is on for him.

84′ Now it’s Atletico’s turn to make changes. Lemar comes on for the hardworking Joao Felix.

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M. Braithwaite

M. Pjanić

83′ Barca make another change. Pjanic also makes way for Braithwaite.

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83′ Griezmann’s game is over. He looks a shadow of the striker he used to be in a Barca shirt. Trincao comes on for Barca.

83′ Atletico are no doubt glad to get upfield after this spell of Barca pressure. Correa smashes a shot against a defender and it goes out for a throw-in. There will be a few substitutions first.

82′ Chance for Barca! Griezmann, who’s been largely quiet, tests Oblak with an angled header from Messi’s cross from the right. Atletico’s keeper dives to his right to make the stop.

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81′ Messi steps up and swings the free-kick towards goal. It takes a deflection off Atletico’s wall and goes out for a Barca corner which Atletico clear.

80′ Gimenez follows Savic into the book soon after for protesting. Unsure what for, as it’s an obvious foul, 25 metres from goal. Messi is standing over the free-kick.

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79′ Savic is the third Atletico man to find his name in the book for a crude challenge from behind on Messi. 

77′ Roberto telegraphs his intended pass to Dest and Carrasco’s quick feet take the ball away from the American. Carrasco has been a bag of tricks in this game.

76′ Coutinho slips but somehow gets a free-kick out of it in Atletico’s defensive third. Alba sends a cross into the box and Savic boots it away.

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74′ Messi’s shot from 20 yards out is blocked. Costa looks to bustle himself onto the ball up the other end but de Jong, playing at centre-back now, calmly sees the striker off. 

73′ Atletico make a substitution. Llorente makes way for Costa.

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72′ Tripper whips a cross into the six-yard box that Joao Felix just fails to reach. Atletico’s goalscorer Carrasco picks up the pieces, jinks onto his right foot and fires wide of the far post.

70′ Saul flicks Koke’s corner towards the back post with his head. Griezmann is quick to react with an acrobatic clearance. Atletico have another corner which Barca manage to clear. Atletico are on top for now though.

69′ Joao Felix runs onto the ball outside the box and has his quick effort blocked by de Jong. Llorente latches onto Trippier’s pass near the byline and forces a corner for Atletico.   

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67′ Atletico are comfortable with defending narrow leads but need to be careful. Pjanic gets a sniff of goal from way out. His shot soars high and wide.

66′ Joao Felix dispossesses Messi in the centre of the park. Savic finds Llorente who wisely keeps possession. Joao Felix goes down near Barca’s box but the referee isn’t interested.

64′ Coutinho cuts inside from the left and has a cross blocked. Barca work the ball to Dembele on the opposite side and his snapshot fizzes wide of the right-hand post.

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62′ A clearly upset Pique limps from the pitch. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as it looks. Dest comes on for him.

60′ Trippier finds Saul with a cross but Saul’s effort from the left of the box is blocked. Pique is down now after an accidental collision with Correa. It looks like Pique won’t be able to shake this injury off.

58′ Lenglet has an even better opportunity to score now! Again Barca take the corner short. Messi drifts inside onto his right foot and curls in a high cross. Again Lenglet wins the header but again it’s straight at Oblak! Barca are starting to knock on the door.

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57′ Pedri’s had a quiet game and makes way. Coutinho replaces him on the left flank.

56′ Barca wins another corner after Pedri’s shot is deflected. Barca will make a change first.

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55′ Barca successfully play out from the back and Pedri passes out wide to Alba. Alba’s cross rebounds off Trippier. Barca have a corner which they take short. It’s floated in to Lenglet whose low header forces a save from Oblak. It’s a routine save but a decent chance for Barca.

53′ Trippier knocks the ball off Lenglet for an Atletico corner. Correa swings it in and Pique makes short shrift of it.

52′ Carrasco bears down on Barca’s box again and tries to lay off to Joao Felix. Barca block it at the vital moment. Carrasco’s direct runs are really testing the visitors.

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51′ Dembele is judged offside from Messi’s pass. That’s good for Barca – they have to play the ball forward more quickly than they did in the opening 45 minutes.

50′ Dembele plays the ball off Hermoso and thinks he’s earnt a corner. The officials disagree and signal for a goal-kick.

48′ Trippier rolls a diagonal ball into the box for Correa. Lenglet and ter Stegen combine well enough to prevent Correa from getting a shot away.

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46′ Atletico start the half brightly as they win a corner down their left off Dembele. Nothing comes of it though.

45′ The second half gets underway. No changes made by either side.

It begs the question as to why ter Stegen ventured that far out of his penalty area to challenge Carrasco. Barca’s keeper rushed out far too quickly and made the situation a whole lot worse. Simeone is 45 minutes from winning his first league game against Barca in 18 attempts as Atletico boss. What can Barca do in the second half to stop that?

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Carrasco’s opportunistic strike is the difference between Atletico and Barca at half-time. It’s been a quietly absorbing rather than raucous affair, with both sides having their opportunities. Carrasco has been the game’s best player so far. Barca, as ever, look like they’ll have to rely on Messi to get them out of this.

45′ + 3′ HALF-TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 1-0 BARCELONA

45′ + 3′ That was a clinical assist by Correa who punished Pique’s poor touch. Barca will feel sick to have conceded just before the break.

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45′ + 3′ GOAL! ATLETICO MADRID 1-0 BARCELONA! Atletico take the lead on the brink of half-time! Correa spots space behind Barca’s defence for Carrasco to race into. ter Stegen rushes way out of his area, Carrasco nutmegs him and slots calmly into the net from outside the box.

45′ + 2′ Barca look to end the half on a high by launching one last attack, but they struggle to find a way through Atletico’s low block. Dembele shows too much of the ball to Hermoso and soon loses out. That’s important because…

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45′ Dembele leaves the pitch briefly but the referee soon waves him back on. Carrasco soon gives away another foul. There’ll be three minutes added onto this first half.

43′ Carrasco does well to make up for a sloppy touch to pin Dembele near the byline. Dembele takes a tumble from Carrasco’s challenge and the free-kick goes Barca’s way. Carrasco throws a hand up in frustration but Dembele needs some treatment.

41′ Chance for Barca! Messi cleverly ghosts into the box and only has Oblak to beat. Messi shoots low at the near post but it’s not powerful enough to get past the Slovenian who gets down to smother it.

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39′ Atletico lure Barca’s defence out to send Carrasco into the box. The Belgian’s cross is blocked but it turns out he was just offside when he made his run anyway.

37′ Oblak’s first touch of a pass back to him is a little heavy, forcing the Atletico keeper to hump it clear. Barca take advantage of the situation by keeping possession for the first time in a while, only for Lenglet to fire a pass out of play.

35′ Saul spots a shooting opportunity from distance and has a crack. It’s nowhere near on target though and dribbles slowly enough for Barca to intercept it.

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33′ Trippier gets loose down the right and rolls an early cross behind Barca’s defence that worries Lenglet enough to punt it out for a throw. Atletico can’t do anything particularly interesting from the throw-in.

31′ The referee trots back on the pitch. He appears to be happy now. After all that waiting Messi’s free-kick isn’t worth mentioning.

29′ Messi wins a free-kick in the final third as Savic marks his opponently a little too closely. Barca won’t get to take it yet though as the referee seems to be having a problem with his communication equipment.

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27′ A nice one-two between Trippier and Llorente down the right keeps Atletico moving. Simeone’s side are starting to settle on the ball now as well as off it.

26′ A loose pass hands Barca possession. Carrasco is booked for clipping the heels of Roberto near the halfway line.

24′ Atletico win a series of throw-ins down their left. The hosts have had less of the ball than Barca but have looked more threatening with it so far.

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22′ The corner’s eventually taken after the referee goes over to have a chat with Hermoso. Atletico easily see it off.

21′ Messi slips Roberto into the penalty area only for the full-back to cross instead of shoot. Barca still get a corner out of it.

19′ Barca muck around at the edge of Atletico’s penalty area without getting anywhere in particular. Atletico soon steal possession, forcing ter Stegen to claim a high ball into the box.

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17′ Joao Felix races onto a ball over the top and holds it up near the left corner flag. Atletico work the ball around to the other side but can’t pick out Trippier who’s making a run. Simeone applauds his side’s effort.

15′ Barca win a corner down their right which Messi takes. It’s headed out for another Barca corner which Atletico again head clear.

13′ Messi tries an eye-of-the-needle pass through the middle for Pedri but Savic cuts it out. He attempts another chip into the box but it floats harmlessly out of play. The Argentine apologises to his teammates.

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11′ Barca survive the corner but Atletico still have the ball and Llorente hits the crossbar! ter Stegen was statuesque as the midfielder struck from the right of the box after being slipped through by Correa. It goes out for a goal-kick.

10′ Messi’s free-kick causes Atletico no difficulty. Suddenly the hosts are flooding forward and Roberto punts a cross out for a corner. This game’s started at a nicely brisk pace.

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9′ Koke receives the game’s first yellow card after Atletico’s free-kick comes to nothing and Barca counter. Koke comes across to bundle Dembele over.

7′ Barca’s latest attack breaks down and Carrasco goes rampaging down the wing again. The Belgian’s fouled as he cuts inside and wins a free-kick for Atletico.

5′ Atletico take the corner and soon win another. Barca manage to see off the host’s advances both times.

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4′ Barca look keen to keep control of the ball as is their wont. Atletico won’t let them do that easily though. Atletico zip down the left through Carrasco who cuts back to Saul. Saul unleashes a belter first-time from the edge of the area and ter Stegen pushes it out for a corner.

3′ Barca get the first chance of the game after a spell of possession. Dembele beats Hermoso to cross low from the right. Griezmann beats his marker to it in the box but it ricochets off the Frenchman and out of play for an Atletico goal-kick.

1′ The referee blows his whistle and this mouthwatering affair is underway!

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The two sides are out on the pitch here in Madrid. Barca appear to be wearing shirts in support of their young winger Ansu Fati who is out for four months with a knee injury.

Barcelona’s hoodoo over Atletico is longstanding. Atletico have failed to win in their last 20 La Liga games against Barca. The last time Atletico managed to score more than one goal against their visitors in a league game was way back in February 2010, the last time they beat Barca at home. Will Atletico’s unbeaten start to the season come to an end here?

Atletico make two changes from their 4-0 trouncing of Cadiz before the international break. Carrasco comes in, as does Correa. He replaces Luis Suarez after the ex-Barca striker tested positive for COVID-19. There are also two changes to Barca’s team from their 5-2 win over Real Betis. Pjanic replaces the injured Busquets, while Messi returns to the starting line-up.

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SUBS: Riqui Puig, Neto,  Carles Alena, Arnau Tenas, Philippe Coutinho, Trincao, Oscar Mingueza, Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo, Sergino Dest.

BARCELONA (4-2-3-1): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Miralem Pjanic, Frenkie de Jong; Ousmane Dembele, Lionel Messi (c), Pedri; Antoine Griezmann.

SUBS: Felipe, Thomas Lemar, Toni Moya, Diego Costa, Vitolo, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Sergio Camello, Ricard Sanchez, Ivo Grbic, Ivan Saponjic, Renan Lodi.

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ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2): Jan Oblak; Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic, Jose Gimenez, Mario Hermoso; Marcos Llorente, Koke (c), Saul Níguez, Yannick Carrasco; Angel Correa, Joao Felix.

Barca arrive at Wanda Metropolitano in the unfamiliar territory of eighth in the table, having won just one of their last five league games. Ronald Koeman’s team have a historical hold over Simeone’s Atletico though. As we all know, history can be a hard thing for a team to shake.

Atletico might have a chance of winning La Liga this season. Diego Simeone’s side have started their campaign extremely well and are currently on a 23-game unbeaten streak in the league, their longest ever in the competition. With both Real Madrid and Barca looking flawed this year, Atletico will feel a repeat of their 2013-14 triumph is very possible.

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Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano.



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