Picture: Lionel Messi, left, celebrates with Neymar immediately after scoring Barcelona’s 2nd goal. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters
Lionel Messi arrived to Barcelona’s rescue for the 2nd time in a 7 days by snatching a late winner to give his aspect a scarcely deserved 2-1 gain at Atletico Madrid on Sunday which provisionally took the champions best of La Liga.
Rafinha had set Luis Enrique’s aspect ahead from the operate of play in the 63rd minute but Godin nodded in Koke’s absolutely free kick to amount in the 70th and bring back again reminiscences of his title-clinching goal for Atletico at the Nou Camp in May possibly 2014.
For considerably of the sport, Barca seemed to be suffering a absence of self esteem from their four- thrashing at Paris St Germain in the Champions League. They designed a timid start out and had goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to thank for amazing saves in both fifty percent.
Just as he had done the 7 days ahead of at Leganes, nevertheless, Messi grabbed all the details for his aspect, generating an instinctive near-submit finish in the 87th minute adhering to a absolutely free kick.
Barca direct the standings on 54 details, two ahead of True Madrid and Sevilla while Zinedine Zidane’s aspect can recover best spot with
a sport in hand if they beat Villarreal afterwards on Sunday.
Boosted by their four-2 gain at Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, Atletico designed a dominant start out, encompassing Barca’s region and pouncing on any miscalculation.
A misplaced move out from Ter Stegen was rapidly intercepted and led to Antoine Griezmann obtaining an early shot in but Barca defender Samuel Umtiti got his entire body in the way.
Ter Stegen denied Griezmann on many events, leaping to the best corner to tip a thumping to start with-fifty percent shot in excess of the bar and then thwarting the France striker with his knee immediately after the split.
Down the other end, Atletico’s Jan Oblak turned absent a curling Messi absolutely free kick to announce his return immediately after 10 weeks out injured, when Luis Suarez had a goal ruled out for a foul in a goalmouth scramble.
It took a scrappy strike from Rafinha to split the deadlock, the Brazilian firing into the far corner when the ball bounced fortuitously in the direction of him, when Messi also benefited from a fortunate ricochet to settle the sport late on.
“I think we performed a ideal sport but they had two rebounds and they took gain of them and depart in this article with the a few details,” mentioned Atletico captain Gabi.
Barca coach Luis Enrique additional: “It was a pretty challenging-fought victory, we struggled in the to start with fifty percent for the reason that of their force and the problems of the pitch but we scored at the end and that will give the players a large morale boost.”