FC Barcelona’s quest to retain the league title is almost certain following their 2-0 victory second place Atletico Madrid. Both sides battled in the Camp Nou as Atletico preferred to attack instead of sit back and defend. The game though did take a turn for the Blaugrana’s advantage when Diego Costa lost his cool when he confronted the referee Gil Manzano who showed him a straight red card after hearing some colorful language. Atletico frustrated Barça for the remainder of the game and probably thought they were going to return to Madrid with a hard-earned point, however, Barça managed to swing the outcome in their favor with six minutes left.
Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi struck late goals to move 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 win. The Camp Nou erupted when Suárez scored from outside the box after he picked the ball up just outside the area, and then spun away from Thomas before blasting a shot past the outstretched arm of Oblak for the goal. While the fans were getting over their celebration, they had cause to celebrate when Messi scored again a minute later with a remarkable run that saw Godin stumble before calmly slotting the ball past the wrong-footed Oblak. This result meant that Barça expanded their lead over Atletico to an 11-point cushion with seven games to go. They have one hand on the trophy and it’s theirs to lose. Barça will now shift their attention to Wednesday’s first leg clash against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals.
Match Stats (From Sport):
FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto (Semedo, 84′), Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur (Malcom, 63′), Coutinho (Aleñá, 80′), Messi & Suárez.
ATLÉTICO: Oblak, Arias, Godín, Giménez, Filipe Luís (Morata, 57′), Arias (Correa, 33′), Saúl, Rodrigo (Juanfran, 88′), Thomas, Koke, Griezmann & Diego Costa.
Goals: 1-0, Luis Suárez (85′); 2-0, Messi (86′).
Referee: Gil Manzano
Cautions: Piqué (73′), Lenglet (77′), Suárez (86′)/Thomas (26′), Giménez (27′), Godín (29′), Saúl (69′).
Red Cards: Diego Costa (27′).