Spanish La Liga
Barcelona2Atl Madrid1

Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez celebrate against Atletico Madrid
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez have now scored 52 goals between them this season

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.

What they said:

Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo: "It was a tough game because they were very strong, but we came out on top in the duel and that is thanks to our work in the week."

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone: "Even with nine men we maintained our way of playing. In a game you can win or lose, but I always prefer to lose in this way."

What next?

Barcelona continue their quest for a treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey when they meet Gary Neville's Valencia in the first leg of their Spanish Cup semi-final next Wednesday night.

They return to league action at bottom club Levante next Sunday, while Atletico's next match is at home to Europa League hopefuls Eibar in La Liga next Saturday.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 13Bravo
  • 6Dani AlvesSubstituted forSergiat 82'minutes
  • 3Piqué
  • 14Mascherano
  • 18Alba
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forTuranat 67'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 8Iniesta
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 7Turan
  • 17El Haddadi
  • 20Sergi
  • 22Vidal Parreu
  • 23Vermaelen
  • 24Mathieu

Atl Madrid

  • 13Oblak
  • 20JuanfranBooked at 41mins
  • 24Giménez de Vargas
  • 2GodínBooked at 65mins
  • 3Filipe LuisBooked at 44mins
  • 17Ñíguez
  • 14GabiBooked at 25minsSubstituted forGámez Duarteat 45'minutes
  • 12FernándezSubstituted forParteyat 76'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6Koke
  • 21Carrasco
  • 7GriezmannSubstituted forSavicat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Moyá Rumbo
  • 10Óliver
  • 11Martínez
  • 15Savic
  • 18Gámez Duarte
  • 22Partey
  • 23Vietto
Referee:
Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Attendance:
93,011

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamAtl Madrid
Possession
Home71%
Away29%
Shots
Home10
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home7
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 2, Atlético de Madrid 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Atlético de Madrid 1.

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Yannick Carrasco (Atlético de Madrid).

Booking

Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Arda Turan (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid).

Offside, Barcelona. Luis Suárez tries a through ball, but Arda Turan is caught offside.

Claudio Bravo (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stefan Savic (Atlético de Madrid).

Attempt saved. Giménez (Atlético de Madrid) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Koke with a cross.

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

Yannick Carrasco (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Giménez.

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

Thomas Partey (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Dani Alves.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jesús Gámez.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Juanfran (Atlético de Madrid).

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

Attempt missed. Arda Turan (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.

Substitution

Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Thomas Partey replaces Augusto Fernández because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Augusto Fernández (Atlético de Madrid) because of an injury.

Offside, Atlético de Madrid. Jesús Gámez tries a through ball, but Yannick Carrasco is caught offside.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jan Oblak.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is saved in the top right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Atlético de Madrid. Stefan Savic replaces Antoine Griezmann.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Arda Turan replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid) for a bad foul.

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid).

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

Juanfran (Atlético de Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

Corner, Atlético de Madrid. Conceded by Claudio Bravo.

Attempt saved. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético de Madrid) left footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yannick Carrasco with a cross.

goal