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Laliga: Barcelona Return To Winning, Beat Atletico Madrid



Laliga: Barcelona Return To Winning, Beat Atletico Madrid

Barcelona picked up a crucial three points on Sunday after a hard-fought Laliga 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

The Catalans had been going through a mini-drought in recent weeks, having failed to score against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey, and then Getafe and Girona in LaLiga Santander.

Antoine Griezmann struggled for goals while a Barcelona player, but he so nearly scored for Los Rojiblancos in the first minute at Camp Nou, hitting the crossbar from outside the box with Marc-Andre ter Stegen stranded.

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Barcelona had most of the ball but struggled to create chances in the first half. Frenkie de Jong, back in the side after recovering from injury, went close on 30 minutes. The Dutchman won the ball with a slide tackle and, while on the floor, swept a shot towards goal but it flew over the bar.

But the breakthrough finally arrived on the stroke of half time. Raphinha, played through down the right, fed Ferran Torres on the edge of the box who controlled and then slid the ball beyond Jan Oblak.

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The second half saw an all-out battle take place, with plenty of chances for each side as well as a flurry of yellow cards.

On the hour-mark, Gavi went close with a fine right-footed strike from the corner of the penalty area which went just wide.

Moments later, Rodrigo de Paul had a big chance that fell to him near the penalty spot but he lashed his left-footed strike wide of Ter Stegen’s goal.

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On 71 minutes, Raphinha had to double Barcelona’s lead, but didn’t. Robert Lewandowski hit a shot across goal which fell to the Brazilian but his effort went into Oblak’s hands rather than the gaping net.

Then, right after, Griezmann attempted to backheel the ball into the net from close range but Ter Stegen denied.

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On 75 minutes, arguably the biggest chance was missed by Lewandowski. Played through on goal by a long ball and with Oblak stranded, the Pole opted to shoot rather than square it to Raphinha and fluffed his shot well wide.

The final 15 minutes saw Atletico throw everything at Barcelona, with Alvaro Morata having a couple of half-chances as well Yannick Carrasco causing trouble with some fine skill, but nothing was converted and Barcelona held on for a huge three points.

The Catalans are now 11 points clear with eight games left.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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