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Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Torres strike ends goalless run
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Joshua Challies
Stats Perform
Ferran Torres scored for Barcelona
Ferran Torres scored for Barcelona

Barcelona returned to winning ways in LaLiga with a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

Held to goalless draws in back-to-back league matches, Barca's march to the title had lost some steam but a narrow victory ended that run.

Ferran Torres' first-half goal secured all three points for the hosts, with Atletico struggling to muster much of a threat in response.

The win moves Barcelona 11 points ahead of Real Madrid with eight games left to play.

Antoine Griezmann was inches away from putting Atletico ahead early on, Thomas Lemar feeding a pass to his compatriot who curled an effort from outside the box that struck the underside of the crossbar.

Angel Correa then tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a strike from the edge of the area, forcing the Barca goalkeeper into a diving save, while the hosts dominated possession but had few chances to threaten Jan Oblak.

That changed one minute before the break, Raphinha bursting down the left side and playing a pass into the middle of the pitch that was met by Torres, who steered his effort into the bottom right corner.

Barcelona pushed to further their advantage in the second half, Raphinha dragging an effort off target before Gavi picked up a loose ball following a corner and drilled a low strike that bounced narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

Raphinha then bundled Robert Lewandowski's drilled cross goal bound but Oblak dived onto the loose ball, before Lewandowski wasted a golden opportunity to secure the win when he selfishly went for goal but missed the target with the Brazilian in space with an open goal to aim at.

What does it mean? Barca back but not at their best

Three points and ending a sequence of goalless draws was exactly what the doctor ordered for Barcelona, though the manner of the performance did not wipe away all the cobwebs.

This game was the ideal game to end that run, however, with the unbeaten streak at Camp Nou against Atletico now standing at 17 matches (W12, D5) since back-to-back defeats in 2005 and 2006.

Xavi has now won all three of his LaLiga games against Atletico, only the second coach in Barcelona to hit that achievement after Luis Enrique.

Raphinha's role

The Brazilian will be disappointed not to have found the net having finished the game with an expected goals (xG) of 0.8 — the highest for any player on the field.

What he lacked in composure in front of goal, however, he made up for in creativity, creating four chances and providing the assist for the only goal of the game.

Lacklustre Lewandowski

It was another disappointing performance for Lewandowski, wasting an opportunity to secure the win with his selfishness that, on another day, could have come back to haunt him.

The year has not gone well for the striker thus far, having only been involved in six goals in 11 games in 2023 (four goals, two assists) compared to 17 goals in 15 LaLiga games in 2022 (13 goals, four assists).

What's next?

Barcelona travel to face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, while Atletico host Mallorca on the same day.


LaLigaAtletico MadridBarcelona
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