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Barcelona Beats Atletico, Keeps First Place In La Liga

Sports, World News, Spain

Carlos Medrano Araujo

January 10, 2023


Ousmane Dembélé celebrates after scoring against Atletico Madrid at Metropolitano Stadium. Photograph: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

FC Barcelona just beat Atletico de Madrid in Metropolitano Stadium with a goal from Ousmane Dembélé. Xavi Hernandez’s squad manages to keep the first place in La Liga as its archrival Real Madrid just lost 2-1 to an away game against Villarreal on Saturday. Later this week, the two Spaniards giants are heading to Saudi Arabia to play the Spanish Super Cup.


Atletico has always been Barcelona’s tough nemesis, but their positions this season are far different. The “colchoneros” have started poorly, standing fifth in the table but still quite far away from contending for the championship. Barcelona, on the other hand, has been intermittent; sometimes they play outstanding and sometimes they play awfully, like how they were eliminated from UEFA Champions League in the group stage.


The 2021 Golden Boy, Pedri Gonzalez broke Atletico’s midfield line and passed the ball to Gavi, the current Golden Boy winner. He prolonged the ball for Ousmane Dembélé who crossed the goalkeeper with a firm and aimed kick, eventually giving Barcelona the lead against Simeone’s squad.


Barcelona coach, Xavi Hernandez decided to play with Marc Ter-Stegen in the goal, Jules Koundé as a right-back, and the young Alejandro Balde as a left-back, leaving the Uruguayan Ronald Araújo and Danish center-back Andreas Christensen as defense pillars. This seemingly created a “defense shield”, as the Spanish journalist and announcer Alfredo Martinez claimed on his Twitter account.


At last, Barcelona has a shield in defense. The magic triangle Koundé-Christensen-Araujo,” Martinez tweeted.


Atletico launched an offensive game against Barcelona. Argentina world champion, Nahuel Molina centered for Jose Maria Gimenez whose header was closed to tie the match. A few minutes later Molina’s kick was threatening the net; it was apparent that Atletico’s game was starting to flourish in the right wing, creating more danger for Barcelona’s defense. Before the end of the first half, Antoine Griezmann kicked the ball gently to near the top left corner, but Ter-Stegen was providential and blocked the shot.


The clash of forwards and defense was clearer during the second half. Atletico, through Griezmann and the pressure applied from the midfield and forward, was able to have clear shots but struggled to find the net. Dembélé had good long runs but clumsy finishing, while Ferran Torres scored an offside from a corner kick by Araújo.


At 91’ Stefan Savic from Atletico Madrid and Ferran Torres from Barcelona were expelled from the match after getting involved in a fight in which they took each other by the neck.


At 93’ Angel Correa ran into the penalty box and delivered the famous death pass to Griezmann who kicked it into the center of the net. However, Araújo was more than opportune and repelled the shot with his left foot, which he celebrated with jubilation as if it were a trophy. Barcelona ended up beating Atletico 1-0 with Dembélé’s only goal, which is good enough for preserving the first place in La Liga and heading to the Spanish Super Cup with the confidence to fight for the first trophy in Xavi’s era.


Barcelona will play the Spanish Super Cup semifinals against Real Betis on Thursday, January 12th at 2:00 PM EST. On the other hand, Real Madrid will play the other semifinal against Valencia on Wednesday, January 11th, at 2:00 PM EST. Both matches along with the final will be played at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



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