La Liga: Atletico Madrid v Barcelona

Text commentary of La Liga leaders Barcelona's goalless draw at second-placed Atletico Madrid.

11 January 2014 Last updated at 18:14

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As it happened

  1. 2110: 

    So it was not quite the heroic return for Lionel Messi which the Spanish headline writers envisaged. The Argentine did not start for leaders Barcelona against title rivals Atletico Madrid and could not find that golden touch after entering the action as a half-time substitute. But his side did earn a hard-fought point which could prove vital at the business end of the season.

    On Sunday, Real Madrid return to action as they look to narrow the gap on the rivals. We will be back then with another live text commentary, which will also feature updates from Sassuolo v AC Milan.

    Trips to Spain and Italy for the price of one? You would be barmy to miss it. Adios!

  2. 2103:  
    French Ligue 1FULL-TIME

    As well as that entertaining draw in Madrid, there has been plenty of action across the Channel in France tonight. Here's what happened:

    Bordeaux 0-1 Toulouse

    Guingamp 0-0 Saint Etienne

    Lyon 2-0 Sochaux

    Rennes 0-0 Nice

    Valenciennes 3-2 Bastia

  3. 2159:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    But what it also proved is that Atletico do not look like they are ready to throw in the title towel. Diego Simeone's boys are in it for the long haul. What a climax we will have if they are still in the mixer on the final day of the season - when they travel to the Nou Camp.

  4. 2055:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    La Liga

    So who is the happier after that stalemate? Atletico? Barca? No - I'd argue it is Real Madrid. With Atletico and Barca each dropping two points, Real are now six points behind the frontrunners with Sunday's match at Espanyol in hand.

  5. 2052: 
    FULL-TIME- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Gerard Pique

    And that is last action as the referee calls time on an absorbing game. Atletico see their 100% winning record at the Calderon ended, but they won't be sniffing at a point against the defending champions.

  6. 2051: 
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Another chance for Barca to win it! Daniel Alves finds room in the right channel but cannot pick out a team-mate as they try to walk the ball in.

  7. 2050: 
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Neymar almost marches through after a neat one-two with Lionel Messi. But the Atletico defence boot to safety.

  8. 2048: 
    INJURY TIME- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    The game is very fragmented as it enters the final throes, with both sides wanting to win but knowing there is no margin for error now. We have three minutes of added time for someone to nick a winner. Atletico's Diego Godin encourages his side's vocal fans to up the decibel level once more to help them do it.

  9. 2045:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Now it is Barca's turn to threaten again. It is all messy inside the Atletico area as Barca try to pick open the lock. However, home defensive duo Miranda and Felipe Luis combine to avert the danger.

  10. 2043: 

    Oh dear. Atletico win a free-kick in a promising position on the left flank but Koke tamely scuffs a dreadful delivery to let Barca off the hook. Five minutes to go. You can cut the tension inside the Calderon with a knife.

  11. 2040: 
    CLOSE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Lionel Messi

    Barca have been on the ropes after suffering a pummelling by Atletico, but the visitors spring into life - a la Rocky Balboa - to counter punch. Lionel Messi wriggles free, only to fire low into Thibaut Courtois's hands.

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    Andy from London on text via 81111: Ballon d'Or should go to Ronaldo but Zlatan should at least have been on the shortlist!!

    Paul on text: Best player over a year, big Messi fan but this year it's Ronaldo. How can Ribery win? Bayern are a team winning stuff who play as a team. Even Robben (done more than Ribery and a team mate) says Ronaldo should win.

    With the winner of the Ballon d'Or announced on Monday, we are asking who do you think should win the honour? Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery or Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, text 81111 or write in on our Facebook wall.

  13. 2037: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Atletico striker David Villa has ran his red and white socks off in typical fashion, but has not been able to apply a goalscoring touch against his former employers. He scampers off to be replaced by Raul Garcia, who almost instantly sets up the opener for Arda Turan. However, the Turk's volley does not make Victor Valdes work too hard and the visitors survive.

  14. 2034: 

    Only a quarter of an hour left in this absorbing match. Can anyone sneak a dramatic winner? It's a tough one to call....

  15. 2032: 
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    You could not slip a thin piece of paper between these two sides - it is really that tight. Barca have a chance to break clear when Cesc Fabregas is felled on the edge of the area. Lionel Messi hovers over the ball...but he cracks the ball straight into the Atletico wall.

  16. 2031: 
    YELLOW CARD- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Javier Mascherano, pretty much like Sunderland's Lee Cattermole, is one of those characters where you could almost bet every match that he will get booked. The Argentine obliges - after being lucky to escape for a dangerous tackle on Arda Turan moments ago - with another rash challenge.

    Not that I'm saying Lee Cattermole could play for Barcelona...


    Josh Lewis: As much as I'd like to see Atletico win, wouldn't mind a draw to get Madrid back in it, most exciting La Liga for years!

    Kuntal Majumdar: Atletico are like Borussia Dortmund. They will lose their best players this summer and lose their footing in the league.

  18. 2027: 
    CLOSE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    We have built up the return of Lionel Messi from injury, but his header over the Atletico bar is an opportune moment to remember that he is still way from match fitness. The net would have surely have bulged if the Argentine was in top nick.

  19. 2025: 

    After Lionel Messi's half-time introduction, Barcelona bring on another superstar from the bench in the shape of £50m man Neymar. the Brazil forward replaces Alexis Sanchez. I'd struggle to think of another club who could bring on a better pair of replacements.

  20. 2024: 
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    That brief break in play helps Barca, who were somewhat under the cosh before Javier Mascherano's injury. Now it is the turn of the visitors to press forward, although well-organised Atletico are refusing to buckle.

  21. 2020: 
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Barca defender Javier Mascherano dangerously jumps into a two-footed tackle on Atletico's Arda Turan - and comes off the worst. Perhaps calling on the Barca medical staff is the Argentine's tactic to avoid a booking. It works.


    D Franco: If you was an owner and could buy one player, it would be Ronaldo. He's the best in the world.

    Steven mclean: I think the ballon'dor should go to the best form player of the year and in my opinion that's Ronaldo.

    With the winner of the Ballon d'Or announced on Monday, we are asking who do you think should win the honour? Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery or Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

    Get involved using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, text 81111 or write in on our Facebook wall.

  23. 2018: 
    CLOSE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Clear opening for Diego Costa as Atletico crank up the pressure again. The Brazilian-turned-Spaniard latches on to a Arda Turan throughball, only to drag a shot on his favoured left-foot wide. That's the clearest chance from open play wasted.

  24. 2015:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Atletico's marauding full-back Juanfran goes tumbling under a rash challenge from Barca defender Jordi Alba to give the hosts a free-kick in a dangerous position. But the delivery from the right side of the penalty area is deep and Barca comfortably clear.

  25. 2011: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Fantastic reflex save from Barca keeper Victor Valdes stops Atletico defender Diego Godin prodding in. Turns out that any goal would not counted anyway because Godin was offside, although Valdes was not to know.

  26. 2009:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Lionel Messi

    But, worrying for Barca, it looks as though Messi is moving gingerly. He seemed to get clattered after sending in that earlier cross. Away boss Tata Martino grimaces as Neymar warms up on the touchline.

  27. 2007:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Lionel Messi enjoys a couple of early neat touches as Barcelona start the second half positively. The Argentine darts into the Atletico box along the byline from the right to force an early corner. That set-piece comes to nothing, but the visitors are certainly roused by the introduction of their talisman.

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    Miracle Roch: You just know Messi is a football demi-god anytime he steps onto the pitch.

  29. 2003: 
    KICK-OFF- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    The home side restart the game as an audible groan rings around the Vicente Calderon as Messi sprints on in place of Andres Iniesta.

  30. 2002: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Is that sound of fear striking Atletico hearts that I can hear? The main man is here - Lionel Messi comes on for the second half.

    French Ligue 1HALF-TIME

    Bordeaux 0-0 Toulouse

    Guingamp 0-0 Saint Etienne

    Lyon 0-0 Sochaux

    Rennes 0-0 Nice

    Valenciennes 2-0 Bastia

    Spanish La LigaFULL-TIME

    Here's a couple of results from earlier:

    Athletic Bilbao 6-1 Almeria

    Celta Vigo 2-1 Valencia

    Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Angat Madon: Atletico Madrid are a fantastic team but they'll never be able to reach the heights of Real Madrid of Barcelona.

    Wale Ibraheem: Let there be a shift of power in Spanish league...enough of two-horse race. Atletico to win this one.

  34. 1951: 
    HALF-TIME- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Atletico talisman Diego Costa, who has blasted 19 goals in 18 league games, came the closest when he almost turned in a corner at the far post. And that has been about it. The big question is - when will Barca turn to Messi?

    Any thoughts? Let us know using #bbceurofooty on Twitter or text on 81111.

  35. 1948: 
    HALF-TIME- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Andres Iniesta

    Cesc Fabregas barges into the Atletico area as Barca counter quickly, only to be stopped getting a shot away by covering left-back Filipe Luis.

    And that is the last action of an engaging opening 45 minutes between Spain's top two sides (that sounds odd doesn't it Real Madrid fans?!). But one thing is missing - and that is the old onion bag being bulged.

  36. 1946: 
    INJURY TIME- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    The fourth official hoists his snazzy electronic board high into the Madrid night sky to show there are two minutes of added time.

  37. 1943: 
    YELLOW CARD- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    That spell of Barca pressure has managed to quieten the home crowd inside the Calderon a touch - but the volume is still akin to that of Beatlemania. Their team are responding with plenty of perspiration as they press the visitors. But skipper Gabi goes too far in his pursuit of Andres Iniesta and receives a booking for his efforts.

    Join the debate at #bbceurofooty

    Mohammed Aabid: If ballon d'or were for team players achieving medals then Ribery would be basking in them, but best player wins and that's CR7.

    Tej Naik: Ronaldo to win balon d'or. Scores almost every match and took Portugal to the world cup single handedly.

  39. 1940:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Barca are cranking up the pressure as they enjoy more possession inside the Atletico half. The home side survive a succession of away corners, before they are rescued by an offside flag against Alexis Sanchez after an incisive pass from Andres Iniesta.

  40. 1937:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Gerard Pique

    Barca defender Gerard Pique has been called into plenty of last-ditch defensive work so far, but then sees an opportunity to stride forward. He blasts a long-distance swerving effort towards the Atletico goal which home keeper Thibaut Courtois smothers before Miranda hacks to safety.

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    Abdullah Mulla: Atletico are absolutely wonderful to watch. They've won my heart and most other's too.

  42. 1934: 
    CLOSE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    The game drifts back up to the other end as Barca find space inside the home penalty area for the first time. But Pedro, who has bagged five goals in his last four games, dallies and the chance is lost.

    The Spain forward almost makes amends seconds later, only for his header from Andres Iniesta's left-wing cross to fly over the Atletico crossbar.

  43. 1930: 
    CLOSE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Atletico force a flurry of corners as they crank up the pressure - and the Barca defence almost buckles at a set-piece. Not sure if Diego Simeone used to watch George Graham's 1990s Arsenal side, but Atletico take one straight out of the Gunners' training manual. Centre-back Miranda darts to the front post, flicks the corner to the far post where Diego Costa is lurking and he almost turns in.

  44. 1927:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    As expected, there is a fantastic ebb and flow to this game as the action drifts from one end to the other. Atletico striker Diego Costa chests down a long ball and just as he shapes to unleash a volley, sees Gerard Pique scamper across to get in a decisive foot.

  45. 1925:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Good news for Barca as Iniesta looks to be alright after a good rub of the magic sponge. Then, Atletico striker David Villa thinks he is through on goal after seemingly beating the Barca offside trap - but the Spain star is hauled back by the linesman's flag. Hmmm, looks like a dogy decision to me.

  46. 1922: 
    Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Barca playmaker Andres Iniesta drops to the turf inside the Vicente Calderon Stadium clutching his knee as he smashes into a crunching tackle.

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    Joe Baldwin: Ronaldo should win the Ballon D'Or. Not even sure Ribery is Bayern's best player, and Messi's injuries count against him.

    Fabious: Best Player Messi, In form Player CR7 and Team player Ribery. Injuries aside Messi is in a league of his own.

    Vasanthakumar C: It must be Frank Ribery look no further than his winners medal during the time span.

  48. 1918:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Atletico Madrid"s midfielder Koke

    Barca are starting to dictate the tempo for the first time - but Atletico aren't making it easy. Diego Simeone's side hound their opponents like a pack of hungry wolves before Pedro's low shot is gathered by Thibaut Courtois.

  49. 1914:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Atletico midfielder Gabi swings over a dangerous left-wing cross towards the imposing unit of Diego Costa. Miniature Barca left-back Jordi Alba does well to head clear the danger before wildly gesticulating at his team-mates to stop the supply. I reckon Atletico will look to sling in plenty of crosses in an attempt to use Diego Costa's height advantage.

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    Chikeong Lok: Barca's bench not looking the strongest- just sum blokes called Messi & Neymar to call on if it doesn't go to plan!

  51. 1911:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Atletico talisman Diego Costa goes tumbling under a robust challenge from Barca defender Javier Mascherano on the edge of the away penalty area. He pleads for a free-kick but is given short change from the ref.

  52. 1909:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    I hope Atletico's turnstile operators were handing out earplugs before kick-off - because the din inside the Vicente Calderon is almost deafening! And the early running from the hosts has only increased the volume. Diego Simeone's side have a 100% winning record from their nine home La Liga matches this season. Fortress.

  53. 1906: 
    CLOSE!- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona
    Diego Costa

    Almost the perfect start for Atletico! Turkey winger Arda Turan - one of their standout performers this season - skips past Barca left-back Jordi Alba before sending a teasing cross in the danger zone. Barca defender Gerard Pique heads over his bar, but the danger does not end there. Atletico press again as Diego Costa thumps a low shot which is gathered by Victor Valdes.

  54. 1904:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Barcelona, who the fervent home crowd are whistling every time they have possession, are controlling the early exchanges. But a promising move breaks down as a stray pass from Andres Iniesta goes out for a goal kick.

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    Alan Windworth: Ribery for Ballon do'r this year as he was Bayern's key player in the last 12 months. Not often you win the treble.

    Agbonkpolor Ekan: I honestly think Ronaldo should win the award this time around, but truth be said Messi for me is the greatest footballer ever.

  56. 1900: 
    KICK-OFF- Atletico Madrid 0-0 Barcelona

    Cesc Fabregas taps the ball to Andres Iniesta after the referee gives his whistle a sharp toot. That means Barcelona get the game under way.

  57. 1859: 
    Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    Some statistical analysis with seconds to go until kick off. Here's how the two teams compare over the first 18 games:

  58. 1857: 
    Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    A host of Spanish snappers are gathered around the Barca bench as Lionel Messi and Neymar huddle next to each other in their big overcoats. There is no hiding from the flashbulbs though.

  59. 1855: 
    European football writer Andy WestAtletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    "Hope I'm wrong, but I've got a feeling Barca will win tonight and it will be the beginning of the end for Atletico's title challenge. Hope I'm wrong not because I have anything against Barca, but because three-horse title race more interesting than one. Ideal result: draw."

  60. 1852: 
    LINE-UPS- Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)
    Barcelona substitute Lionel Messi

    Atletico: Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis;, Koke, Gabi, Tiago, Arda Turan, Diego Costa, Villa. Subs: Aranzubia, Raul Garcia, C Rodriguez, Alderweireld, Guilavogui, Insua, Sosa.

    Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez. Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Song, Messi, Neymar, Adriano, Sergi Roberto.


    Never mind the educated thoughts of players, coaches and other footballing dignitaries. We want to know which of this trio you would vote for and why. Messi? Ronaldo? Or Ribery? Get in touch using #bbceurofooty on Twitter, text 81111 or write on our Facebook wall.

  62. 1848:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)
    Frank Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

    By his own sky-high standards, Messi's success in 2013 has paled into insignificance to that enjoyed by Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery.

    Messi's 37 goals in 34 games during 2013 were put into the shadow by rampant Ronaldo's 53 strikes in 44 matches. And his two trophies - La Liga and the Copa del Rey - were top trumped by Ribery's quintet of winners' medals.

    That leaves Messi sweating on his chances of being named the planet's best player when the Ballon d'Or winner is announced in Zurich on Monday.

  63. 1845:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    Are surprise package Atletico feeling a sense of trepidation as they put their credentials line against a wily Barcelona side which has been around the title-winning block? Are they heck.

    Atletico striker Diego Costa is feeling more confident than a member of One Direction signing up to a dating website. "We know it is our time and we're playing at home," says Costa, who has scored 19 league goals in 18 games this season. "We want to take it to Barcelona."

  64. 1841:  
    French Ligue 1PSG EXTEND LEAD
    Paris St Germain

    Defending champions Paris St-Germain moved five points clear of Monaco at the top of the French league after coming from behind for a hard-fought 2-1 win at bottom side Ajaccio.

    Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi scored for the visitors after forward Eduardo gave Ajaccio the lead in the sixth minute.

    Lille will move into second place above Monaco if they beat Reims on Sunday.

  65. 1837:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    So how big is tonight's match? Barcelona midfielder Xavi insists it will not decide the destination of the Spanish title - but says a win for his team would be "vital".

    "It might not turn out to be definitive, but a win would lay down a marker," says the Spain international.

  66. 1832:  
    Spanish La LigaWIN, LOSE OR DRAW?- Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    Real are sat chilling in their plush hotel ahead of Sunday's trip to Espanyol - coincidentally another footballing battle between the cities of Barcelona and Madrid - knowing that one, or both, of their title rivals will drop points tonight.

    Sure Ancelotti and his players will have their collective fingers, toes and legs crossed for a draw at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

  67. 1827:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)
    La Liga

    It is not surprising that defending champions Barcelona are top of La Liga heading into the midway point of the season. But it is a shock that is Atletico - not Real - who are hanging on to their coattails. Carlo Ancelotti's side are huffing and puffing behind their two rivals and are already five points adrift.

  68. 1822: 
    BREAKING TEAM NEWS- Atletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    Lionel Messi must wait for his first start in two months - he is named on the Barcelona bench.

  69. 1819:  
    Spanish La LigaAtletico Madrid v Barcelona (1900 GMT)

    Hola! Need a football fix while the other half is rooted to the sofa watching The Voice? Well, you have come the right place my amigos.

    We have a humdinger of a game taking place in the Spanish top-flight to tickle your parched palettes. It doesn't get any better than Barcelona making the 400-mile trip to Madrid to face their nearest La Liga title challengers.

    But I'm not talking about Real v Barca here. Nope. It is cross-city rivals Atletico who are trading blows with the Catalans at the summit.

  70. 1815: 

    We all face teasing dilemmas virtually everyday. Can I risk going to work without a brolly? Shall I ask that hot girl in accounts out on a date? What tasty treat do I want for my dinner? Decisions, decisions.

    Football managers are no different. However, they know that every single decision they make will be scrutinised, deliberated and argued about by thousands of fanatical fans. And tonight Barcelona boss Tata Martino faces the ultimate 'problem'.

    Tata Martino

    To start Lionel Messi, or not to start Lionel Messi?

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League Table

Spanish La Liga summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Barcelona 28 63 68
No movement 2 Real Madrid 28 52 64
No movement 3 Valencia 28 30 60
No movement 4 Atl Madrid 28 30 59
No movement 5 Sevilla 28 18 55
No movement 6 Villarreal 28 17 49
No movement 7 Málaga 28 0 44
No movement 8 Ath Bilbao 28 -6 39
No movement 9 Real Sociedad 28 -4 36
No movement 10 Celta de Vigo 28 -2 35
No movement 11 Rayo Vallecano 28 -17 35
No movement 12 Espanyol 28 -5 34
No movement 13 Getafe 28 -15 29
No movement 14 Eibar 28 -12 28
No movement 15 Elche 28 -29 27
No movement 16 Deportivo de La Coruña 28 -21 26
No movement 17 Almería 28 -19 25
No movement 18 Levante 28 -29 25
No movement 19 Granada CF 28 -25 23
No movement 20 Córdoba 28 -26 18

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