Apr 1, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Camp Nou
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Neymar (71')
Iniesta (56'), Alba (58')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Diego (56')
Koke (19'), Gabi (38'), Turan (44'), Juanfran (52'), Diego (79'), Sosa (90')

Match Analysis: Barcelona 1-1 Atletico Madrid

Sports Mole dissects the action as Barcelona draw 1-1 with Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Camp Nou.

Atletico Madrid will take a slight advantage into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona after drawing 1-1 at the Camp Nou this evening.

A long-range strike from Diego sent Atletico ahead in the early stages of the second period, but Barcelona dominated from that moment and forced an equaliser 20 minutes from time through Brazilian international Neymar.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two La Liga rivals.

Match statistics

Shots: 14
On target: 8
Possession: 66%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 15

Shots: 6
On target: 3
Possession: 34%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 23

Was the result fair?

Statistics rarely paint a false picture and the fact that Barcelona came out on top in almost every department is an indication of their dominance at the Camp Nou. That said, Atletico, as they have been all season, were just sensational in defensive areas. On another night, Barcelona's late pressure would have secured a first-leg advantage, but Atletico know how to pick up results in these type of games. The loss of Diego Costa to injury in the first period was a big blow to their overall game-plan, which is reliant on keeping the ball alive in the opposition half. However, they adapted and showed their experience and undoubted character to secure a draw at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona's performance

It was a performance that, in many ways, was expected from Barcelona. Plenty of possession and chances created, but without really showing their top level. Like Atletico, the home side had to reshuffle after losing Gerard Pique to an early injury, but Gerardo Martino's side were dominant for long spells. It did not quite happen for Lionel Messi, but Andres Iniesta and Neymar were both in fine form, with the pair linking for Barcelona's leveller in the latter stages. It would have been unjust had they not secured at least a draw based on their dominance, but too often their play in the final third was predictable. Atletico have now drawn four times with Barcelona this season, with Atleti boss Diego Simeone the master at frustrating the Catalan side.

Atletico's performance

The La Liga leaders started positively and should have led inside five minutes when David Villa had a clear sight of goal, but the Spanish international could only curl his effort wide of the post. Barcelona took control of the ball as the first period developed, but never really worried Atletico, who retreated into a defensive shape. As mentioned, the loss of leading scorer Costa certainly harmed their game-plan, but it was another defensive masterclass from Simeone's side. In truth, they had to ride their luck in the latter stages, in addition to rely on goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to make a number of fine saves, but they will feel that they deserved to take something into the second leg.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Diego Godin: Is there a better centre-back in European football right now? Godin was fantastic this evening as the Atletico defender organised his back four against an inter-changing Barcelona attack. The 28-year-old's star moment came in the first period when he somehow made a last-ditch block on Iniesta, who looked certain to find the back of the net from close range. Not only was Godin aerially dominant, he was also calm and composed in possession of the ball. It was just about the complete defensive performance from the centre-back.

Biggest gaffe

Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Pinto had a horror moment in the early stages when his loose clearance fell to Atletico midfielder Arda Turan, who found Villa with a through pass inside the box. The Spanish international took control with one touch before sliding his effort towards the bottom corner, but it just curled wide of the post. Pinto's involvement in the incident was poor, but it was a chance that Villa really should have taken against his former club.

Referee performance

Referees are often criticised, which means that they should receive praise when they have a successful night of action. That was indeed the case for experienced German Felix Brych this evening. The official issued eight yellow cards during an eventful 90 minutes, but only looked to his pocket when it was deemed absolutely necessary. There were a couple of penalty shouts for the German to review, but he was not fooled by simulation. It was a stop-start evening in terms of challenges, but neither manager will have had any complaints about his display in Barcelona.

What next?

Barcelona: The Catalan outfit return to La Liga action at home to basement side Real Betis on Saturday evening.

Atletico: Atletico, meanwhile, welcome Villarreal in the early La Liga start on Saturday.

Read Next:
Result: Barcelona come from behind to draw with Atletico
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