The Catalans put up a magnificent display to get an invaluable three points against a tough Atletico Madrid side at the Vicente Calderon
Barcelona passed their first real test of the new Liga season as they pulled off an impressive showing to beat Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid team 2-1 away from home as they make it three wins from three this season.
Fernando Torres opened the scoring for the Colchoneros on the 52nd minute but the goal was cancelled out in style by Neymar from a curling free-kick 25-yards out in the 55th minute for Lionel Messi came off the bench to give the Catalans all three points with a superb side-footed effort on 77 minutes to fire Barça to their fifth consecutive win over Simeone’s team.
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – 5.5
Made his Liga debut in place for the injured Claudio Bravo and didn’t have a lot to do as Barcelona dominated the game in the attack, however, he should have rushed out of his box to stop Fernando Torres from scoring the opener.
Sergi Roberto – 8.5
Had his first acid test in his new right-back position and wonderfully impressed. The midfielder-defender was perfect throughout the game especially when defending. He had a really great game.
Thomas Vermaelen – 6.5
Vermaelen played just 28 minutes as he was forced off when he sustained a calf injury. Judging from the few minutes he played, he bossed the defence and Barcelona looked more vulnerable at the back with him substituted. Will be out for a couple of weeks.
Javier Mascherano – 5.0
Was far from the Mascherano we know. A poor display from the Argentine that saw him commit two glaring errors at the start of the game that could have earned Atleti the lead. Had a clear handball in the area which Mateu Lahoz didn’t penalise and was also weak in the battle with Torres for Atleti’s goal. Not a good display.
Jordi Alba – 7.0
Showed his importance once again for the team. Was reserved to a more defensive duty by Luis Enrique due to the presence of Neymar and Iniesta in attack and was great in the game, but really has to work on his cross.
Sergio Busquets – 6.5
Busi played a good game as his intelligence helped Barcelona hold on to possession on numerous occasions but was often out-powered and out-run by the likes of Gabi and Tiago, had a better second half though.
Ivan Rakitic – 7.0
Improved from his woeful performance against Malaga and could have gotten on the scoresheet early in the first half but was denied magnificently by Atleti’s Jan Oblak. Made impressive runs and controlled the midfield when called upon. Replaced by Lionel Messi in the second half.
Andres Iniesta – 8.0
The midfielder is in adorable form for both club and country and showed he still has the spark to change the game. Was great in both attack and defence and almost got an assist in the first half.
Rafinha – 7.0
Started in place of Lionel Messi and really did a good job. Finished the game in midfield and was at his marauding best. He is a great prospect for the future and Lucho has already fallen in love with him.
Luis Suarez – 7.5
Was really eager to make the difference which seemingly affected his game, missed Barça’s clearest chance to take the lead when his close range shot could only hit the crossbar in the first half. Almost set up Neymar for a goal but later got an assist in beautiful fashion as his pass played the Argentine through for Barça’s winning goal.
Neymar – 8.0
Scored a brilliant curling free kick in the 55th minute to immediately get the equaliser for Barca. Carried the team on his shoulders in the absence of Messi and has matured greatly in his play. Should have done better with the chance presented to him in the first half, although he could claim his shot was handled in the box by Jose Gimenez.
Jeremy Mathieu – 7.0
Came on for the injured Thomas Vermaelen close to the half-hour mark and was solid throughout his stay on the pitch as he kept Griezmann, Jackson Martinez and Torres at bay.
Lionel Messi – 9.0
Started on the bench and was introduced in the second half with the score at 1-1 and his impact was immediate. He didn’t take much time to start his show as he took total control of the match making things much more easier for the Catalans. Played Neymar through but the Brazilian’s shot was handled off the line with Mateu Lahoz hesitating to give a penalty. Messi finally got the winner for Barcelona in the 77th minute and dedicated the goal to his newborn son, Mateo.