Barcelona 5-2 Atletico Madrid: Colchoneros Blown Away By Superb Barca

Barca Barca Barcelona crushed Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou with a stunning first half performance to return to the top of the table. Although the visitors found a brace of goals from Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan, the Blaugrana were always in control of the match thanks to goals by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Dani Alves and Seydou Keita.

Both sides were at full strength up front: Messi, Ibrahimovic and Thierry Henry formed the attacking trident for the hosts, while Aguero and Forlan lined up in attack for los Rojiblancos. Dmytro Chygrynskiy made his home debut for the Blaugrana.

Barcelona stated their intent after just 55 seconds, when Henry turned on the edge of the box to fire a shot off the crossbar. Barely a minute later, Ibrahimovic found the back of the net. Sergio Busquets slid a superb ball through to the former Inter man, who chipped the ball exquisitely over Roberto.

Antonio Lopez saved a certain goal after 13 minutes when he cut out Henry’s cross just as Messi was preparing to tap home from a matter of yards, and los Rojiblancos were rocking.

The scintillating Argentine was not to be denied three minutes later, however. Xavi played an excellent ball over the visitors’ defence which Messi brought down with ease, dropped his shoulder to dummy Roberto before rolling the ball home.

Los Colchoneros fashioned a good passage of play on 22 minutes after Maxwell needlessly gave the ball away in his own half, but Maxi Rodriguez was unable to capitalise on the final chance.

Aguero then fed Maxi with a cute through ball, but the Argentine took too long to take his shot and could only find the side netting from a narrow angle. Moments later, Jose Manuel Jurado saw his shot blocked by Chygrynskiy after he briefly saw himself through on goal as los Colchoneros looked for a way back into the game.

However, Barcelona cut any hopes short when Dani Alves lashed in a long range free kick that crashed in off the post after half an hour.

The fourth goal came five minutes before half time at the end of another gorgeous move by the Blaugrana. A flick by Ibrahimovic set up Messi, who turned magnificently before rolling the ball across the goal for Keita to tap home.

The hosts should have had a penalty just before the break when Ibrahimovic was felled in the box, before they conceded in the 45th minute, when Aguero picked up on Busquet’s loose defensive header, raced away from Chygrynskiy and chipped over Victor Valdes.

Both coaches resisted the idea of making changes at half time, but while the visitors began the half positively, their defenders resembled rabbits caught in headlights when faced with another incisive Blaugrana attack.

10 minutes into the second half, Roberto was playing with fire as he firstly gave the ball away to Ibrahimovic before Messi rounded the visitors’ keeper only for the ball to get caught up in the Argentine’s feet.

Atleti probed and searched for ways through the Blaugrana defence, and Pep Guardiola responded by bringing on Andres Iniesta for the ever impressive Xavi.

The visitors continued to press forward, and Chygrynskiy was cautioned for a foul on Aguero as the Argentine forged his way towards the Blaugrana goal. Forlan struck just over the bar from 20 yards soon after, but Atleti were unable to really test Valdes.

Further substitutions were made on both sides as the game entered its final stages. Barcelona had taken their foot off the pedal, quite happy to sit on their 4-1 lead and not expend any further energy with a busy fixture list ahead of them.

It almost cost them in the 79th minute. Chygrynskiy was caught out by Sinama-Pongolle, who eventually fed the ball to Forlan. Unfortunately for the Uruguayan, he blasted his shot over with only Valdes in front of him.

Forlan found his goal with 5 minutes to go with a powerful finish from 20 yards after Valdes gifted possession to the visitors, however, and the Barca keeper comfortably gathered a shot from Jurado as los Rojiblancos sought a third goal.

Instead, it was Barcelona that found the game’s seventh goal. Atleti were undone in the last few seconds of injury time, as Iniesta and Dani Alves linked up to provide Messi with the ball inside the area, and he swept home into the corner to wrap up a comprehensive win.


~ by footballdirecta on September 20, 2009.

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