More than a victory for the leader in the Metropolitan

Barcelona is more of a leader because it was a more mature team than in the derby and in Alicante.

08 January 2023 Sunday 15:34
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More than a victory for the leader in the Metropolitan

Barcelona is more of a leader because it was a more mature team than in the derby and in Alicante. Associative and with personality, he was a butterfly and a bee, like Ali. Barça won at the Metropolitano also because they knew how to defend themselves tooth and nail when they had to withdraw and shoot ex officio. In the first half, the Blaugrana remembered their great afternoons with a magic square that made Atlético disappear, directed by Pedri and culminating in Dembélé's goal. In the second part, the team fought off and matched the intensity of the locals. There were three direct points to the chin of Atlético but also of Madrid. Three points that also go to Xavi's box.

The man from Egar was greeted with a loud whistle at the Metropolitano. It is already known that he and Simeone are at opposite poles and that has made him an enemy in the eyes of the followers of cholismo. That was before the Barça coach won the game over his mattress colleague. The start of the match was the one imagined by the Blaugrana coaching staff, which left Atlético stunned, who did not know exactly what to expect. Barça moved Balde, Pedri and De Jong to position while Koke, Llorente and Nahuel chased shadows and were constantly late.

Against Atlético Xavi always pulls an ace up his sleeve with a fourth midfielder to have control of the ball and it works out well. He learned from his mistakes at the Bernabeu and this time he did not leave Gavi on the bench but instead made a hole for him by displacing Pedri as a false left winger. Although in reality the one who really occupied that place was Balde, who had the whole gang. And the canary played inside, very close to De Jong, at the heart of the actions, easily connecting with Gavi and marking the differences.

Over and over again Pedri appeared between the lines and the light came to Barcelona. Seeing the man from Tegueste in that area was like having an Iniesta avatar right under your nose. On the stage where the man from La Mancha won his last Cup in 2018 with a great display, the interior paid tribute to his childhood idol. Barça found Pedri and Atlético was lost, plunged into the chaos of passes from the Barcelona brains.

A few hours after City proclaimed that association football is very much alive, Barça was no less in a wonderful half hour, in which they stood in the Oblak area playing and playing. The goal was announced but Llorente prevented Dembélé from charging his leg and Giménez had to dive to the ground to block Ansu Fati's shot, chosen as nine due to Lewandowski's sanction.

The resistance lasted until Pedri made a fine and surgical slalom. He caught the ball and broke defensive lines as if he glided like a dancer, as if he were wearing Iniesta's boots. In a feint and acceleration he left Griezmann, Koke and Lucas Barrios planted, he dismasted everyone, cracked Simeone's rock. He got to the edge of the box where he gave up Gavi. The other short man endured the struggle with Reinildo well and opened more to the left for the arrival of Dembélé, who this time did not cut or even stop the ball but crossed it in the purest Carlos Alberto style in the México'70 final.

The goal did justice to the leader's proposal. Atlético still did not know where they were coming from and Barça was still able to take advantage of this local confusion. Pedri, once again, recovered a ball near the area and wanted to elevate against Oblak, who came out very quickly.

It took Simeone half an hour, through the mouth of Griezmann, to catch his rival's 3-2-2-3 trick. He sent Molina to watch over Balde, Llorente stayed with Pedri, Koke overcame De Jong and Barrios put pressure on Busquets. The colchoneros began to short-circuit the development of Barça. With the ball, all Atlético's attacks went through the French. As striking as his fuchsia hair is Griezmann's transformation into an organizer. The problem is that João Félix is ​​not a sprinter like Mbappé. So the danger came from the second line.

Molina entered twice on the right wing but did not find a door. Giménez and Reinildo finished off two lateral crosses but Ter Stegen only had to intervene in a good shot from the former Barça player, which he sent for a corner.

The half-time bell came in handy for Barcelona, ​​who continued to suffer at the restart in which it was difficult for them to cross midfield. Not three passes in a row did Barça give. But this time, unlike the derby or the cup duel against Intercity, the team was mature enough to play that second half.

First fishing a couple of counterattacks with the speed of Dembélé. The winger threatened and Atlético had doubts. Then Xavi knew how to move the bench. Ferran and Kessié entered to work, win duels and put intensity to rebalance the duel based on sacrifice and a lot of responsibility. Everyone knew that there was a double prize in case of winning.

Barcelona did not suffer again until the final rush of the rojiblancos, coinciding with the double expulsion of Ferran Torres and Savic for getting hooked on the neck and getting entangled in a fight. The Metropolitan also asked for a penalty from Marcos Alonso to Morata that Munuera Montero saw closely. And already at 94, Araújo saved on the line a shot from Griezmann who had gently passed Ter Stegen. The Uruguayan, with his heart in his fist, celebrated it as if it were the second goal. And it was because there was no time for anything else. Barça gave the blow that their coach wanted and is more of a leader thanks to more than a victory at the Metropolitan.

Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Molina, Savic, Gimenez, Reinildo (Reguilon 80), Llorente, Barrios (Kondogbia 64), Koke (Lemar 72), Carrasco (Morata 64), Griezmann, João Felix (Belt 72).

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Kound, Araujo, Christensen, Balde (Marcos Alonso 80), Pedri, Busquets (Sergi Roberto 80), De Jong (Kessie 57), Dembele, Ansu Fati (Ferran Torres 57), Gavi (Raphinha 72).

Goal: 0-1, m. 22: Démbé's.

Referee: Munuera Montero (C. Andaluz). He sent off Savic, from Atlético de Madrid, and Ferran Torres, from Barcelona, ​​with a direct red card, in the 91st minute. He yellowed the local Correa (m. 78) and the visitors Araujo (m. 55) and Christensen (m. 82).

Incidents: match corresponding to the sixteenth day of LaLiga Santander played at the Cívitas Metropolitano before 63,493 spectators.



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