Barcelona 2-2 Atletico Madrid: La Liga is over

Messi got goal 700 but it mattered little in the grand scheme of the title race

El Barça no fue capaz de derrotar al Atlético y se aleja del título
El Barça no fue capaz de derrotar al Atlético y se aleja del título | AFP

It’s over. Pending the numbers in the table to prove it, it’s over. Barcelona could not beat Atletico Madrid and sit a point behind Real Madrid at the top of the table, having played a game more.

Rik Sharma

@riksharma_

MATCH FACTS

LaLiga

FCB

2-2

ATM

FC Barcelona

Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets (Ansu Fati, 85'), Vidal (Griezmann, 90'), Rakitic (Sergi Roberto, 63'), Riqui Puig; Messi y Luis Suárez

Atlético de Madrid

Oblak; Arias, Giménez, Felipe, Renan Lodi; Carrasco (Lemar, 85'), Saúl, Thomas, Correa (Vitolo, 85'); Diego Costa (Morata, 76') y Llorente (Joao Felix, 69')

Goles

1-0 M.11: Diego Costa (pp). 1-1 M.19: Saúl (p). 2-1 M.50: Leo Messi (p). 2-2 M.62: Saúl (p)

Árbitro

Hernández Hernández (colegio canario). Amonestó a Ter Stegen, Piqué y Messi por parte blaugrana y a Saúl, Felipe, Carrasco, Diego Costa y Lemar por parte rojiblanca

Campo

Camp Nou

It was their third draw in four games and if Madrid beat Getafe on Thursday, then Barcelona will be four points behind with just five games remaining. Not good enough.

There were times in the first half where it looked like they might do it.

Just like against Celta, Lionel Messi tried to score from a corner. His first attempt was hacked away close to the near post. His second went in, via Diego Costa. The forward couldn’t clear Messi’s vicious ball, which hit him between the legs and span in.

Costa had the chance to make amends when Yannick Carrasco left Gerard Pique eating dust and then was brought down by a desperate Arturo Vidal in the box.

However Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved his penalty by diving to his left, brilliantly. Unfortunately for him, VAR spotted he was inches off the line and Atletico got to retake it. Saul took the second one. And scored it.

Messi, chasing his 700th goal, nearly scored with a deflected free-kick, but Jan Oblak tipped over his effort. The Argentine hit that milestone shortly after the break, when Felipe brought down Nelson Semedo just into the area.

Up stepped Leo and with Oblak flinging himself to one side, the forward cheekily executed a Panenka to send Barcelona ahead.

But the drama wasn’t over. Semedo was penalised at the other end for a foul on Carrasco - whom it looked like tripped himself over - and Saul slotted home the penalty for his second.

Barcelona had to go for it, knowing that anything other than a win would see them virtually renounce any claim to the title, but created far too little in the final stages.

Ansu Fati was given five minutes. Antoine Griezmann just stoppage time. A grim end to Barcelona’s title hopes and surely the end of Quique Setien's reign, if not technically at least effectively.

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