La Liga: Atletico Madrid Edge Past Barcelona To Earn Title Boost | Football News

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Atletico Madrid delivered a significant enhance to their hopes of successful La Liga on Saturday by beating Barcelona 1-Zero and consigning their opponents to their worst begin to a league season in 29 years. Yannick Carrasco completed brilliantly from vary after errors from Gerard Pique and Marc-Andre ter Stegen left the purpose gaping however Barca, and a below-par Lionel Messi, failed to reply on the Wanda Metropolitano. Instead, Atletico recorded their first league victory over Barcelona in 10 years, which places them three factors forward of Real Madrid, with a recreation in hand, and second within the desk, stage on factors with early leaders Real Sociedad.

It additionally leaves their opponents languishing in 10th, with Barcelona’s 11 factors from their first eight video games their worst tally at this stage for the reason that 1991-92 season.

“Like any coach, I am responsible,” mentioned coach Ronald Koeman. “We know we have to improve the results. I continue to trust the players I have.”

Real Madrid had earlier been held to a 1-1 draw by in-form Villarreal, one other slip-up for the reigning champions to implement the sense that this may very well be Atletico’s 12 months.

And beating Barcelona in La Liga for the primary time since 2010 — earlier than Simeone arrived as coach — will do wonders for the group’s perception and extends what’s now a substantial benefit within the desk.

It additionally extends Atletico’s unbeaten run within the league to 24 matches.

“Today we were able to win but it absolutely doesn’t change anything,” mentioned Simeone. “We’re working well and I’m excited about this team.”

Another disappointing day for Barca was soured additional by the sight of Pique hobbling off in tears with what the membership mentioned was a “sprained right knee”.

Pique was damage throughout a collision with Angel Correa and was in misery as he departed.

“I am worried,” mentioned Koeman. “A lot of damage has been done.”

Antoine Griezmann nearly put Barca in entrance towards his previous membership whereas Marcos Llorente went closest for Atletico, skimming the crossbar after a neat trade between Kieran Trippier and Correa down the proper.

Messi might need scored however was uncharacteristically hesitant, with a good half about to complete goalless till two errors gifted Atletico the lead.

Pique was caught out of place after a heavy contact and Mario Hermoso did properly to free Carrasco. Ter Stegen, already upfield, rushed out to fill the hole Pique had left however Carrasco’s first contact feathered the ball by means of the goalkeeper’s legs earlier than a curling end from 50 yards despatched the ball into the open web.

Clement Lenglet ought to have equalised however headed Messi’s cross straight at Jan Oblak but Barcelona had been removed from dominant and Messi struggled for his traditional affect.

Philippe Coutinho got here on and Pique hobbled off. Messi floated a free-kick vast and noticed a shot blocked earlier than substitute Martin Braithwaite was given a late likelihood after a poor kick by Oblak. But Barca had been unable to discover a manner by means of.

Real slip up once more

Earlier, a patched-up Real Madrid needed to hold on for a draw towards Villarreal.

Mariano Diaz gave Madrid the lead after simply 105 seconds however Zinedine Zidane’s group pale at La Ceramica and Villarreal claimed a deserved level by means of Gerard Moreno’s second-half penalty.

“It feels like a small reward,” mentioned Zidane. “We deserved more today for the game we played. I’m annoyed because of the effort from the boys.”

Mariano was nearly offered final summer season however needed to stand in for Karim Benzema, who’s injured, and Luka Jovic, who examined optimistic for coronavirus on Friday.

Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao and Casemiro had been all lacking following the worldwide break, leaving Nacho Fernandez and an unfit Raphael Varane to fill in on the again, whereas Martin Odegaard made a uncommon begin in midfield.

Promoted

Given the absentees, a draw could not fear Zidane an excessive amount of, notably towards a buoyant Villarreal aspect who sat second at kick-off after 4 victories on the bounce.

But one other slip means Madrid have now received solely three of their final seven video games in all competitions, with a vital go to to Inter Milan to return within the Champions League on Wednesday.

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