Atlético in pole position after beating Barça, Madrid slip

Atlético Madrid strengthened its standing because the early front-runner within the Spanish league title race on Saturday after beating Barcelona and watching Real Madrid fall additional behind.

Under coach Diego Simeone, Atlético knew what it was prefer to beat Barcelona within the Champions League and Copa del Rey, however it had been denied a victory over Lionel Messi’s facet within the home league in 20 consecutive makes an attempt.

Its first win over Barcelona within the competitors since 2010 left it stage on factors with league chief Real Sociedad earlier than the Basque Country membership visits Cádiz on Sunday.

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona was left languishing in 10th place at 9 factors again. Both Atlético and Barcelona have video games in hand resulting from their late begin to the season after enjoying within the Champions League quarterfinals in August.

“It’s true that we hadn’t beaten them in years, although we had been close. This is the payoff of working toward this victory,” Simeone mentioned, whereas not wavering from his mantra of going forward “game by game.”

“We always keep the same philosophy both in the good times and the bad: our focus is on the next match,” he mentioned.

The long-awaited win got here after a Madrid facet debilitated by accidents and coronavirus infections dropped factors for the second consecutive spherical when it drew 1-1 at Villarreal.


Adding to Barcelona’s damage issues, protection chief Gerard Pique suffered what his membership referred to as a right-knee sprain early within the second half when Ángel Correa fell onto his leg and made it buckle inwards.

Pique instantly referred to as for assist. He walked gingerly off on his personal energy, however he appeared to be in tears.

Barcelona additionally misplaced Sergi Roberto to an obvious right-thigh damage within the last minutes.

Barcelona was already with out Ansu Fati for 4 months after he wanted surgical procedure on his left knee final week.


Two excellent touches by Yannick Carrasco proved to be the important thing to Atlético breaking its decade of frustration in opposition to Barça.

After going shut by means of Saúl Ñíguez and Marcos Llorente, the sport on the Wanda Metropolitano tipped within the hosts’ favor when Correa pounced on a nasty move by Pique and lobbed the ball ahead for Carrasco breaking down the left flank. Marc-Andre ter Stegen rushed out to disrupt the counter-attack, however Carrasco used one deft contact to push the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs. His subsequent contact despatched the ball from properly exterior the field into the open internet.

“It is worrying how we conceded the goal,” Koeman mentioned. “A big team cannot concede goal like that, in minute 47 and with the ball.”

Lionel Messi tried to rally his staff with crosses for Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann, whose headers have been simply saved by Jan Oblak.

Otherwise, Atlético performed the sport it loves: placing a stranglehold on the opposing assault and letting the clock do the remaining.

“The league is still long and there are a lot of games left, but this defeat leaves us needing to string together a long run of wins,” Koeman mentioned.


Without Sergio Ramos’ management and Karim Benzema’s scoring contact, Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid needed to maintain on for some extent at El Estadio de la Cerámica.

Madrid made a promising begin when hardly ever used striker Mariano Díaz did properly to go in a cross from Dani Carvajal three minutes after kickoff.

Madrid managed the remainder of the primary half, however Unai Emery’s Villarreal improved after the restart.

The equalizer got here when Courtois swept Samuel Chukwueze off his toes within the field making an attempt to dispute a ball. Gerard Moreno stepped as much as convert the ensuing penalty within the 76th.

“Drawing with the defending champions can leave you satisfied, but the way we were playing left me with the feeling that the game was ours to win,” Emery mentioned.

Villarreal is in third place at one level off the tempo.

Madrid was lacking Ramos, Benzema and Federico Valverde due to damage. Casemiro, Éder Militão and Luka Jovic have been unavailable after testing positive for the coronavirus. But it nonetheless had a beginning 11 together with Eden Hazard, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos, and Zidane used Francisco “Isco” Alarcón and Marco Asensio as substitutes.

Madrid, which misplaced 4-1 at Valencia within the earlier spherical earlier than final week’s worldwide break, stayed in fourth place with a recreation in hand.


Two late objectives gave Sevilla a 4-2 win over Celta Vigo to dampen the debut of coach Eduardo Coudet.

An engaging first half’s soccer ended 2-2. Jules Kounde and Youssef En-Nesyri scored for Sevilla, and Celta’s Iago Aspas and Manuel “Nolito” Agudo took benefit of some sloppy goalkeeping by Tomas Vaclik to complete off two free balls.

Vaclik denied Santi Mina from shut vary earlier than Sevilla pushed for a winner.

Sergio Escudero’s lengthy shot took a deflection off a defender and looped over Celta ’keeper Ruben Blanco within the 85th. Munir El Haddadi received a fourth purpose after his strike additionally hit a defender to idiot Blanco.

Also, Elche drew 1-1 at Levante.