Barça beat Atlético and displaced him from the ‘Champions zone’

February 6, 2022

FC Barcelona signed a very important victory in its fight for Champions League positions, 4-2 against a direct rival like Atlético de Madrid, from which it snatched fourth place, this Sunday in the star match of the 23rd round of The Spanish league.

That fourth place is the last one that in the Spanish tournament qualifies for the next Champions League and Barça, weighed down by its poor start to the season, has that objective as a priority given its complicated financial situation.

Jordi Alba (minute 10), Gavi (21), the Uruguayan Ronald Araújo (43) and the Brazilian Dani Alves (49) signed the Barça goals at the Camp Nou.

Atlético had gone ahead in the 8th minute with a goal from the Belgian Yannick Carrasco and in the 59th the Uruguayan Luis Suárez had headed the final 4-2 on the scoreboard.

Neither that goal from the Uruguayan ‘Pistolero’, a former Barça player, nor the expulsion of Dani Alves in minute 68 allowed Atlético to rejoin the game.

Alba’s goal came with a spectacular volley assisted by Alves, which surprised Jan Oblak.

Adama Traoré, recently signed, made his debut giving an assist for Gavi’s goal, which he scored with a header.

Gerard Piqué headed the crossbar just before the break and Ronald Araújo then came on the rebound to score. Alves’ goal came after a ball served by Jordi Alba.

“I already said that this game could be a turning point, but we must remain humble. There are three points. We have played with intensity and we have improved some details that eluded us in previous games”, celebrated the Barcelona coach, Xavi Hernández.

After the disappointments of January with the defeats against Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup and with Athletic Bilbao in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, Barça regained confidence by chaining two consecutive wins in the League.

All this before visiting Espanyol in a derby next week and already receiving Napoli in their Europa League tie, a tournament that they play since the Champions League, where they failed to qualify for the round of 16.

– Setback for Simeone –

At the Camp Nou, Atlético put the brakes on the attempt to recover that they had outlined with the win against Valencia on January 22nd. Just before, the ‘colchoneros’ had also fallen in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup (against Athletic) and had also been eliminated in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey (against Real Sociedad).

Atlético’s last away league victory dates back to the end of November, when they thrashed 4-1 in Cádiz.

“We must improve. Next week we will insist on a series of actions. We have lacked luck and attention,” stated Atlético’s Argentine coach, Diego Simeone.

Both Barça and Atlético are far from the fight for the title this season, as they are provisionally 12 and 14 points behind the leader Real Madrid, who host Granada (16th) in the last round on Sunday.

In the first game on Sunday, Real Sociedad (6th) drew goalless against Valencia (11th).