It wasn’t a surprise to see Barcelona go down at Atletico Madrid. Gerard Pique admitted the club is troubled after the game, and said if they had played for three hours, they wouldn’t have scored.
It did feel like that at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Atletico hit two first half goals and then coasted. They are level with Real Madrid at the top of the table on 17 points, while Barcelona are ninth, with 12.
Thomas Lemar was Atletico’s key figure in the first half and scored after 23 minutes. He left Nico Gonzalez for dead in midfield and finished brilliantly after good work from the electric Joao Felix.
Nico struggled, but so did everyone. Frenkie de Jong was quiet out on the right flank in an unfamiliar role.
Atletico netted the second just before the break with Lemar feeding Luis Suarez, who slotted past Ter Stegen.
The Uruguayan celebrated respectfully mutedly towards his former club, but also made a phone call gesture. He later denied this was aimed at coach Ronald Koeman, up in a box as he was banned, but we’ll leave you to make up your own minds after *that* phone call incident.
The second half was a cruise for Atletico Madrid, with Barcelona barely threatening.
Coutinho had the Catalans’ two best chances one zipping wide and the other he fired straight at Jan Oblak.
Simeone geed up the full Metropolitano, which roared in response. At least they were enjoying themselves. The visitors weren't.