Atletico Madrid delivered a serious increase to their hopes of successful La Liga on Saturday by beating Barcelona 1-Zero and consigning their opponents to their worst begin to a league season in 29 years. Yannick Carrasco completed brilliantly from vary after errors from Gerard Pique and Marc-Andre ter Stegen left the purpose gaping however Barca, and a below-par Lionel Messi, failed to reply on the Wanda Metropolitano. As an alternative, Atletico recorded their first league victory over Barcelona in 10 years, which places them three factors forward of Actual Madrid, with a sport in hand, and second within the desk, stage on factors with early leaders Actual Sociedad.
It additionally leaves their opponents languishing in 10th, with Barcelona’s 11 factors from their first eight video games their worst tally at this stage because the 1991-92 season.
“Like every coach, I’m accountable,” mentioned coach Ronald Koeman. “We all know we’ve got to enhance the outcomes. I proceed to belief the gamers I’ve.”
Actual Madrid had earlier been held to a 1-1 draw by in-form Villarreal, one other slip-up for the reigning champions to implement the sense that this might be Atletico’s 12 months.
And beating Barcelona in La Liga for the primary time since 2010 — earlier than Simeone arrived as coach — will do wonders for the staff’s perception and extends what’s now a substantial benefit within the desk.
It additionally extends Atletico’s unbeaten run within the league to 24 matches.
“At the moment we had been in a position to win nevertheless it completely does not change something,” mentioned Simeone. “We’re working effectively and I am enthusiastic about this staff.”
One other disappointing day for Barca was soured additional by the sight of Pique hobbling off in tears with what the membership mentioned was a “sprained proper knee”.
Pique was damage throughout a collision with Angel Correa and was in misery as he departed.
“I’m fearful,” mentioned Koeman. “Quite a lot of harm has been performed.”
Antoine Griezmann nearly put Barca in entrance in opposition to his previous membership whereas Marcos Llorente went closest for Atletico, skimming the crossbar after a neat trade between Kieran Trippier and Correa down the fitting.
Messi might need scored however was uncharacteristically hesitant, with a fair half about to complete goalless till two errors gifted Atletico the lead.
Pique was caught out of place after a heavy contact and Mario Hermoso did effectively to free Carrasco. Ter Stegen, already upfield, rushed out to fill the hole Pique had left however Carrasco’s first contact feathered the ball by way of the goalkeeper’s legs earlier than a curling end from 50 yards despatched the ball into the open internet.
Clement Lenglet ought to have equalised however headed Messi’s cross straight at Jan Oblak but Barcelona had been removed from dominant and Messi struggled for his normal affect.
Philippe Coutinho got here on and Pique hobbled off. Messi floated a free-kick large and noticed a shot blocked earlier than substitute Martin Braithwaite was given a late probability after a poor kick by Oblak. However Barca had been unable to discover a means by way of.
Actual slip up once more
Earlier, a patched-up Actual Madrid needed to grasp on for a draw in opposition to Villarreal.
Mariano Diaz gave Madrid the lead after simply 105 seconds however Zinedine Zidane’s staff light at La Ceramica and Villarreal claimed a deserved level by way of Gerard Moreno’s second-half penalty.
“It appears like a small reward,” mentioned Zidane. “We deserved extra at this time for the sport we performed. I am aggravated due to the trouble from the boys.”
Mariano was nearly offered final summer season however needed to stand in for Karim Benzema, who’s injured, and Luka Jovic, who examined optimistic for coronavirus on Friday.
Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao and Casemiro had been all lacking following the worldwide break, leaving Nacho Fernandez and an unfit Raphael Varane to fill in on the again, whereas Martin Odegaard made a uncommon begin in midfield.
Given the absentees, a draw could not fear Zidane an excessive amount of, significantly in opposition to a buoyant Villarreal aspect who sat second at kick-off after 4 victories on the bounce.
However one other slip means Madrid have now received solely three of their final seven video games in all competitions, with an important go to to Inter Milan to come back within the Champions League on Wednesday.
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