Barcelona on Sunday night recorded a hard-fought 1 nil victory away at rival Atletico Madrid, to return to the summit of the La Liga table. Once again, Lionel Messi came up with the good, with an 86th-minute goal. However, it wasn't the homecoming former Atletico talisman Antoine Griezmann was hoping for, the French ace didn't cover himself in glory with another below-par performance. He even fluffed a golden opportunity in the 1st half, firing way over the bar.
Griezmann has had a see-saw start to his career with the Catalan. Having made a big-money switch from Atletico to Barcelona in the summer transfer window, Griezmann has scored just 4 goals in 12 league appearances, a low return from a proven goalscorer of his calibre. His performance(rated 6/10) on the night will pile up the concern over French striker's form.
Griezmann was booed and jeered by his former home fans. Die! Some of the fans shouted, another banner read “Querias tener un nombre y se te olvido ser hombre" interpreted to “You wanted to have a name and you forgot to be a man”. Such was the atmosphere subjected to the Frenchman.
In Griezmann's defence, the entire team struggled and could have been 2 or 3 goals down in the 1st half but had their goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen(1 of 2 standout performer on the night, the other been Lionel Messi) to thank for making match-winning saves.
Atletico Madrid has only won 1 of her last 6 matches in all competitions but looked like a house on fire in the 1st half. Mario Hermoso drew a point-blank save from Ter Stegen in the 20th minute. The German then denied Atleti striker Alvaro Morata header in the 40th minute to keep Barca level at halftime.
Barcelona has not won at Atleti in the past 2 league visit, and it was looking like another draw in making, however, Lionel Messi produced a moment of magic to earn his team all 3 points, his 1st goal at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Barcelona now edges their bitter rivals Real Madrid on La Liga table with goal difference. Both teams on 31 points from 14 league games. Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, now slipped to 6th place on the log table with 25 points having played a game more.
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