Atletico Madrid boss
Diego Simeone has insisted that he’s calm despite the aspect’s disappointing 0-0
draw away at rivals Barcelona.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid knew victory might hearth them
in direction of the La Liga title however Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Camp Nou handed Real
Madrid the prospect to go high.
Four wins from their final 4 video games will now be sufficient for
Zinedine Zidane’s aspect to retain their La Liga crown, with a crunch recreation at
dwelling to fourth-placed Sevilla up first on Sunday.
“We got here to Barcelona
to play as a crew. We attacked and managed the sport after recovering the ball,
with an important first half and within the second half, we have been even higher,” he instructed a
post-match interview with Marca.
“The crew will preserve
on working as there’s not a lot time till out subsequent recreation. Tomorrow we’ll relaxation
and on Monday we put together for the sport in opposition to Real Sociedad, and we’ll take
it like that, recreation by recreation.
“Real Madrid will
compete as they’ve all the time executed, and Sevilla can be a part of the race tomorrow if
The first a part of a blockbuster weekend within the Spanish title
race pitched first in opposition to third however neither might take a decisive step
ahead, despite the most effective makes an attempt of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who confronted
one another for the primary time since Suarez departed final summer season.
Some extent every leaves Atletico three factors away from Real
Madrid, who’ve a recreation in hand and in addition the superior head-to-head over each
Atleti and Barcelona.
Barca stay two factors off the highest however their possibilities took the most important hit, given they now want each Atletico and Real Madrid to slip up within the remaining stretch.
Anything can nonetheless occur due to what we’ve seen so
far,” mentioned Gerard Pique. “If Madrid wins their 4 video games they are going to
be champions, however it’s tough for the large groups to be constant. If we win
all our three video games, I feel we’ll have an opportunity.”
Atletico might be upset too, given they spurned a
variety of possibilities in throughout a dominant first half, earlier than Ronald Koeman’s aspect
recovered within the second.
Jan Oblak had to deny Messi after a classic run ahead from
the Argentine, who then had a well-placed free-kick within the final minute, solely
for Atletico to watch the ball spin inches broad.
“We began higher and so they completed a bit of
higher,” Oblak mentioned. “Real Madrid has 4 video games left however for positive
they’re going to be tought video games. We have to preserve going.”
Diego Simeone mentioned on Friday Suarez had been
“vindicated” since being pressured to depart Barcelona, his 19 targets
making him high scorer for the crew.
Koeman admitted it will be “strange” for
everybody, together with Messi, who despatched a heartfelt open letter to his former
team-mate, neighbour and finest buddy final yr.
Suarez ‘all the time
The pair shared a number of phrases within the centre circle earlier than
kick-off after the Camp Nou stadium announcer had already beamed that Suarez
“will always be welcome”.
But, in fact, the Uruguayan was not at his ruthless finest as
a handful of openings went unconverted in a contest stuffed with possibilities however that
lacked precision when it mattered most.
Messi was repeatedly knocked over within the opening jiffy
earlier than Gerard Pique went by the again of Suarez, each groups scrapping for
Atletico slowly took cost, helped by the departure of
Sergio Busquets, who was changed by Ilaix Moriba after a conflict of heads that
meant he had to be taken to hospital for assessments.
Without Busquets, Barcelona have been rudderless for some time and
the Atletico possibilities got here thick and quick.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to palm away Marcos Llorente’s
shot after which stick out a foot to deny Suarez from the angle.
Suarez then tried to nod within the rebound after a winding run
from Yannick Carrasco earlier than claiming a penalty after feeling a flick of Ter
Stegen’s hand throughout his head.
Barcelona have been rattled, the normally regular Ter Stegen
booting one ball straight into the stands, just for Messi to give Atletico a
actuality test, his driving run previous six chasers opening the area for a shot,
however Oblak tipped it broad.
Felipe fired over from a well-worked Atleti quick nook
earlier than half-time however Barca have been higher after the break, with each Ilaix and
Pique going shut shortly after the hour.
Both coaches made adjustments, hoping to encourage a winner.
Ousmane Dembele was certainly one of them and he ought to have grabbed it with six minutes
left however headed over from six yards in maybe the most effective probability of the sport.
Messi might have received it on the finish, standing over the ball
with a free-kick positioned centrally and 25 yards out. Atletico held their breath,
the ball whistling simply broad of Oblak’s publish.