Atletico edge past Barca to boost title hopes

Atletico Madrid delivered a major boost to their hopes of winning LaLiga on Saturday by beating Barcelona 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Yannick Carrasco finished brilliantly from range after mistakes from Gerard Pique and Marc-Andre ter Stegen left the goal gaping but Barca, and a below-par Lionel Messi, failed to respond at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico recorded their first league victory over Barcelona in 10 years, which puts them three points ahead of Real Madrid, with a game in hand, and second in the table, level on points with early leaders Real Sociedad.

It also leaves Barca languishing in 10th, with Barcelona’s 11 points from their first eight games their worst tally at this stage since the 1991-92 season.

Antoine Griezmann almost put Barca in front against his old club while Marcos Llorente went closest for Atletico, skimming the crossbar after a neat exchange between Kieran Trippier and Correa down the right.

Messi might have scored but was uncharacteristically hesitant, with an even half about to finish goalless until two errors gifted Atletico the lead.

Pique was caught out of position after a heavy touch and Mario Hermoso did well to free Carrasco. Ter Stegen, already upfield, rushed out to fill the gap Pique had left but Carrasco’s first touch feathered the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs before a curling finish from 50 yards sent the ball into the open net.

Clement Lenglet should have equalised but headed Messi’s cross straight at Jan Oblak yet Barcelona were far from dominant and Messi struggled for his usual influence.

Earlier, Real Madrid had to hang on for a draw against Villarreal.

Mariano Diaz gave Madrid the lead after just 105 seconds but Zinedine Zidane’s team faded at La Ceramica and Villarreal claimed a deserved point through Gerard Moreno’s second-half penalty.

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