MX23RW : Thursday, November 14 10:09:32| >> :600:30483381:30483381:
Nov 24, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid)
Attendance: 67,204
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Costa (77')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Dembele (90')

Live Commentary: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona from the Spanish capital, which finished 1-1.
Live Commentary: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona - as it happened
© Reuters

Ousmane Dembele came off the bench to score a 90th-minute equaliser as Barcelona recovered from a one-goal deficit to draw 1-1 with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

Atletico looked to be securing their first La Liga win over Barcelona since 2010 when Diego Costa headed home in the 77th minute, but Dembele levelled the scores in the latter stages.

The result means that Barcelona remain top of the table, one point clear of second-placed Atletico, who have moved above Sevilla.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

Evening all! Welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona from the Wanda Metropolitano. Third will host first in La Liga tonight as the Spanish champions Barcelona travel to the capital to take on Atletico. Incredibly, not since a 2-1 success at the Vicente Calderon more than eight years ago have Atletico overcome Barcelona in the league, with the Catalan giants winning 12 of their last 16 top-flight fixtures.

Barcelona recorded a 1-0 win when the pair met at Camp Nou in March, but the points were shared in a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano last season. Two of the last four league meetings have actually finished level, and there was not been more than one goal between the two teams in a La Liga clash since January 2015. What will occur in this famous match tonight?

Right, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from the Spanish capital. Both managers had a lot of injury concerns ahead of this one...


ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Lucas, Savic, Luis; Saul, Koke, Rodrigo, Lemar; Costa, Griezmann

BARCELONA (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Roberto, Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Suarez, Messi

Diego Godin scored a 91st-minute winner for Atletico in their 3-2 success over Athletic Bilbao before the international break, but the centre-back misses out tonight having suffered a thigh problem against the Basque outfit. Head coach Diego Simeone was sweating over the fitness of Lucas Hernandez, Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez ahead of the match. Lucas shakes off a hamstring problem to start, while Savic is from a calf injury. Gimenez, however, is unavailable. There is more good news on the injury front though with Koke and Thomas Lemar back.

It will also be a big night for Diego Costa as the forward has recovered from a foot injury to make himself available for the hosts. The Spain international has struggled with a number of issues since February and is without a goal in his last 18 league appearances. Costa has also never scored against Barcelona, but he has not been one to shy away from a challenge. He is joined by Antoine Griezmann, who has just three league goals for Atletico this season.

As for Barcelona, Samuel Umtiti has not played in La Liga since the end of September due to a knee problem, but the Frenchman was on the bench against Betis before the international break, and returns to the XI for this one. Umtiti comes in for Clement Lenglet to start alongside Gerard Pique in central defence, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who has kept just two clean sheets in La Liga this season, between the sticks. Nelson Semedo is in at right-back, meanwhile, which has allowed Sergi Roberto to push into a midfield role as Ivan Rakitic is suspended.

Arthur and Sergio Busquets continue in the middle of the park, and there is also a spot for Arturo Vidal as Philippe Coutinho has not yet recovered from a hamstring problem. Vidal has not been handed too many starting positions this term, but he makes the XI. As a result, it is a 4-4-2, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi in the final third. Messi capped his return from a fractured arm with a brace against Real Betis last time out, and now has 14 goals in 13 games this season. Suarez, meanwhile, has managed nine strikes in 12 La Liga fixtures during the 2018-19 campaign.

Tonight, Atletico will be looking for their first La Liga win over Barcelona since February 2010. Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga with 24 points from 12 matches, but they are just a single point ahead of third-placed Atletico, who have lost just once in the league this term.

Atletico have enjoyed recent Champions League success over Barcelona, but that has simply not been the case in Spain's top flight, with the Catalan giants dominating their recent meetings. That said, the pair played out a 1-1 draw in the Wanda Metropolitano last season, and Diego Simeone's side have been the draw specialists this season. Indeed, the capital outfit have shared the points in five of their 12 La Liga matches this term. Their only league defeat came at Celta Vigo at the start of December though, and they have won five and drawn four of their nine since.

Simeone's side have been very strong at home, meanwhile, winning five and drawing one of their six top-flight fixtures at the Wanda Metropolitano, conceding just three times. That is in contrast to their form on the road, where they have picked up just one victory and scored just four times.

Atletico conceded twice at home in their last league match before the international break, but Godin came up with a late goal to see the capital outfit record a 3-2 win. As a result, they are only one point off the top of the table, and a victory here would send out a huge message.

Sixteen goals in 12 La Liga matches is not the best of returns for Atletico this season, but they once again have the best defensive record at this stage with just eight conceded. It has been a strange start to the 2018-19 campaign for Simeone's side, but they are very much in the title race at this stage of the season. Indeed, a win tonight takes them to the top of the division.

Barcelona might sit top of La Liga, but the Catalan giants will go into this match off the back of a 4-3 defeat at home to Real Betis before the international break. It was the team's second league defeat of the campaign, and they have dropped points in five of their 12 league fixtures this term.

In truth, with Real Madrid and Atletico both having issues, Barcelona should have stormed ahead - that is what happened last season as they led from the front, but the champions have not been at their best this term. Real Madrid had the chance to move to within one point of the leaders earlier this afternoon, but incredibly suffered a 3-0 defeat away to Eibar.

Ernesto Valverde's side are the leading scorers in La Liga this season with 34 goals, but have incredibly shipped 18 down the other end of the field. To put that into context, only six teams in Spain's top flight have conceded more than Barcelona at this stage of the 2018-19 campaign. That said, Barcelona have let in just six goals on their travels, which is a strong record.

The Spanish champions will travel to PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League next week, but there is not too much pressure on them, having already booked their spot in the round of 16. Their next La Liga fixture is at home to Villarreal next weekend, before facing Cultural Leonesa in the second leg of their Copa del Rey clash on December 5. Kickoff is just 20 minutes away here!

Barcelona did not really need to break a sweat in La Liga last term. Indeed, the Catalan giants lost just one of their 38 matches, winning 28 times, to storm to the title. They finished 14 points clear of second-placed Atletico, and were rightly installed as the favourites to retain the title.

Valverde led Barcelona to a La Liga and Copa del Rey double in his first season at the club, but his long-term future is very much undecided. Indeed, the 54-year-old will be out of contract at the end of this season, and neither he nor the club have made a move to activate an extension.

It is promising to be a very open title race this season when considering that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico all have their flaws, and Sevilla have been performing very well in the early months of the 2018-19 campaign. Tonight's clash will be very, very interesting.

PREDICTION! Not since a 2-1 success at the Vicente Calderon more than eight years ago have Atletico overcome Barcelona in the league, with the Catalan giants winning 12 of their last 16 top-flight fixtures. Once again, this is a very, very difficult one to call. Simeone's side are so strong at home, however, and we fancy the pair to play out a 1-1 draw, which both managers would take.

Just a reminder of the two teams for this match...

ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2): Oblak; Arias, Lucas, Savic, Luis; Saul, Koke, Rodrigo, Lemar; Costa, Griezmann

BARCELONA (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Roberto, Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Suarez, Messi

Here we go then; both sets of players are in the tunnel ahead of kickoff in the Spanish capital. It must be said that the atmosphere inside this beautiful stadium is just wonderful.

Once the handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged, we will be ready to get this game underway. A win for Atletico takes them to the summit. Stay tuned!

KICKOFF:  Barcelona kick things off on home soil...

... possession football for Barcelona in the early moments of this match, and it is a midfield four for the visitors, with Vidal almost operating in the hole behind Suarez and Messi.

Pass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they look to work the ball into a dangerous position. Atletico might not have Godin, but they are always so well-drilled in defensive areas.

It has been quite a considered start to this match, with neither giving too much away, which is not much of a surprise. Atletico have just started to see a little bit more of the ball here.

Atletico have a free kick in a dangerous area as Semedo brings Griezmann down...

... Ter Stegen claims Koke's set piece. Not the best.

Barcelona have had 75% of the ball in the first 10 minutes, but no chances for either side. Messi has just delivered into the Atletico box, but Vidal went up and fouled Oblak.

Atletico attempt to work something with Lemar in a wide position, but Semedo is across to make the clearance. Messi is then challenged down the other end as he runs into traffic. Very, very tight game of football, with neither team giving anything away at the moment here.

Messi has just started to come deep in the last few minutes in order to get involved, as he is not seeing too much of the ball in dangerous positions. There is just no space here.

Barcelona have just had a spell of possession outside the Atletico box, but the move came to an end when Semedo tried to force it. The visitors start once again though from the back.

No real surprise in the first 18 minutes of this match. Barcelona are having all of the ball while Atletico look to threaten on the break. Neither goalkeeper has been tested thus far here.

Atletico are away on the counter and Griezmann manages to feed Lemar, but the Frenchman's shot is blocked by Pique. Suarez then has a cross cleared as Barcelona counter-attack.

Smart defending from Rodri to clear a cross from Messi, which looked to be finding the head of Umtiti. Another corner comes into the Atletico box, and this time Costa smashes behind.

Roberto finds himself free inside the Atletico box, but chips straight into Oblak.

You do get the feeling that the first goal tonight - if there indeed is one - will be crucial. Atletico are committing plenty of players forward despite their defensive approach here.

Messi has just whipped a long-range free kick over the Atletico crossbar. Not his best.

Bit of possession for Atletico in the last few minutes, but their period with the ball ends without testing Ter Stegen. Umtiti has improved Barcelona at the back, no question.

Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and we are still waiting for the first half-chance of this match. It has been very, very tight, which is to be expected.

YELLOW CARD!  Busquets (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Lucas.

Barcelona with the ball as we head for the latter stages of the first period here.

Atletico work the ball into a wide position with Lemar, but the attacker is forced too wide, and Barcelona can clear their lines once again. Still waiting for the first chance of this match.

Atletico have to win if they are to end tonight top of the table, but a point would not be the worst result in the world. Barcelona, to be honest, would also take a draw in this match.

The home supporters remain in fine voice as Atletico have a bit of the ball. Just the one yellow card in this match, but there have been a number of late challenges from both teams.

Barcelona continue to look for passes into the Atletico box, but Savic and Lucas have been very strong for the home side. Suarez has just won a corner for the away side though.

YELLOW CARD!  Lucas (Atletico) is booked for a very high challenge on Messi...

... Messi's free kick is far too high.

The quality from the likes of Griezmann, Messi, Suarez has not been great tonight. That said, both teams have defended very well. We are in the final minutes of the first period here.

Barcelona have the ball in Atletico's half of the field as we approach the break.

Barcelona might have to make a change as Roberto holds his hamstring.

It does appear that the alteration will need to be made as Roberto is still on the deck.

Roberto heads straight down the tunnel here.

Barcelona will seemingly wait until the break before making a change.

Pique is now down in the heap following a challenge with Costa.

Both Pique and Costa are back on their feet. Play carries on!


So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. In truth, not the best half of football in terms of entertainment. Neither side has had a meaningful chance, with both defences on top at the half-way point of this La Liga contest.

STATISTICS! Barcelona have had 67% of the ball, but failed to hit the target with either of their two attempts. Atletico, meanwhile, only had one shot, and that was off-target. To be honest, neither attack has really threatened, with Griezmann, Costa, Suarez and Messi all struggling.

BENCH WATCH! Barcelona will have to make a change at the break as Roberto hobbled off in the final moments of the first period. It appears that Rafinha will replace hum, although Alena is also a midfield option. Dembele and Malcom are also in reserve for the visitors. As for Atletico, Simeone has options in the shape of Angel Correa, Kalinic, Martins, Thomas and Vitolo.

KICKOFF:  Atletico resume the action here...

... BARCELONA SUB! Rafinha does indeed replace Roberto.

You do get the feeling that one goal would be enough to win this football match. There was just nothing in the first period. Atletico's game-plan certainly will not change here.

Smart defending from Luis to clear a cross from Messi, who had combined with Suarez in a dangerous position. Atletico then look to break, but Costa charges into Alba for a foul.

YELLOW CARD!  Griezmann (Atletico) is booked for a foul on Vidal.

Little bit untidy between Costa and Umtiti, and the referee has to race over to calm things. It is Barcelona playing the football at the moment as they pass and probe in a forward area.

Plenty to admire about the defences tonight, but not too much happening in the final third. Messi has just struck one from distance, but it was deflected harmlessly wide of the post.

This might well be a match for Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman has received a lot of criticism in recent weeks, but that would be forgotten if he came on and scored the winner here.

CHANCE!  Easily the best chance of the match as Griezmann drives past Arthur and into the Barcelona box before delivering a low cross, but Costa is just beaten to it by Pique!

Barcelona are pushing high up the field here as they look to squeeze Atletico, but Simeone's side are just so comfortable in this position. Is there going to be a goal here?!

ATLETICO SUB! Vitolo replaces Lemar for the home side.

Possession football from Barcelona as they look to work the ball forward, but Atletico keep their shape. The home side have given nothing away tonight, which is not a surprise.

Koke heads a Suarez cross behind as Messi weaves his magic in a forward area.

As it stands, Barcelona would be top of the table on 25 points, with Atletico second in 24 points having moved above Sevilla. Still time for something to happen late on here though.

YELLOW CARD!  Umtiti (Barcelona) is booked for dissent.

YELLOW CARD!  Costa (Atletico) has also been booked for getting involved.

Very, very untidy at the moment as both teams continue to commit late challenges.

Griezmann delivers a wide free kick into the Barcelona box, but Vidal is on hand to clear.

Possible penalty shout for Atletico as Vidal handles inside the box. VAR check...


Oh my word! Just had to be him! Costa scores his first La Liga goal since February as he heads a corner home at the far post. What a huge moment in this football match!

Can Barcelona respond in the latter stages? Atletico are going top as it stands!

BARCELONA SUB! Dembele replaces Arthur for the away side.

ATLETICO SUB! Correa replaces Costa for the home side.

SAVE!  Comfortable save from Oblak to keep out Messi's free kick.

CLOSE!  Griezmann has just fired an Atletico free kick over the crossbar.

BARCELONA SUB! Malcom replaces Vidal for the away side.

YELLOW CARD!  Rodrigo (Atletico) is booked for a foul on Messi.

Messi sees his free kick deflected over the Atletico crossbar.

YELLOW CARD!  Luis (Atletico) is booked for a foul on Messi.


Oh my word, what a moment. Barcelona have their leveller as Dembele works some space inside the Atletico box before finding the back of the net via a deflection off Lucas!

We are into the second of four additional minutes at the end of the match.

Atletico deliver a corner into the Barcelona box, but the danger is cleared.

YELLOW CARD!  Rafinha (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Lucas.


So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona coming from behind to draw with Atletico in the Spanish capital. What a finish! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live commentary once again. See you next time!

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Antoine Griezmann in action for Atletico Madrid on September 29, 2018
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