Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Messi ensure title stays in Barca’s graspMarch 5, 2018
Lionel Messi’s sublime free-kick ensured Barcelona remain favourites to win the La Liga title after beating Valencia 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.
There was a sense of nervousness around the Camp Nou heading into Sunday’s fixture, given that Antoine Griezmann had netted an impressive seven goals in two games for visitors, Atletico Madrid.
Diego Simeone’s side said much in the build up to the game about his side’s hopes, but they reverted back to their defensive shape, which held the hosts back for the most part of the first half.
Messi, who had netted free-kick’s in his past two games for the hosts – was not to be stopped though, netting a wonderful effort past Jan Oblak, who could only get the slightest of touches to the effort.
Luis Suarez was denied a goal in the second half after straying offside, before Sergio Busquets hammered a superb volley towards Oblak, who parried the midfielder’s effort away.
Down the other end, Griezmann and strike partner, Diego Costa, posed little threat to Marc Andre ter-Stegen.
Costa did find substitute Kevin Gameiro late on, but the Frenchman’s effort was ruled out for offside.
With the win, Ernesto Valverde’s side remain on course to win the La Liga title, sitting eight points above Simeone’s men.