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16 December 2012
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
• Attendance: 86637
Adriano Correia 36'
L. Messi 57', 88'
R. Falcao 31'
Full time in Camp Nou. Falcao opened the scoring and things looked rosy for Atletico Madrid, but a glorious finish by Adriano as well as a goal from Busquets and a brace from Messi have gave Barcelona an eventual comfortable 4-1 win. The Catalan side extend their lead at the top of the table! Thank you for joining us on Goal.com! See you next time!
That makes it 90 goals for Lionel Messi. He has absolutely shattered that record held by Gerd Muller for the amount of goals scored in a calendar year. We just won't see anything like this again.
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! Horrible mistake from Diego Godin!!! The Atletico man attempts to back-heel the ball inside his own box but Messi pounces on the pass and runs through on goal to terrifically chip the ball over Courtois! 4-1. Game well and truly over now.
Yellow Card Thiago Alcántara
Third and final change from Barca. Dani Alves is introduced into the action in place of the goalscorer, Adriano. Not a bad sub to bring on, but he'll do well to better his fellow Brazilian's performance tonight!
Diego Simeone's men are having a decent period at the moment. It is now Barcelona who are sitting fairly deep inside their own half and Tiago, Gabi are pulling the strings from midfield. Not a lot of penetration, though.
Great save from Courtois! The ball is reversed into the centre for Iniesta who side-foots a shot towards goal. The ball takes a deflection on its way through but the Atletico goalkeeper shifts his body well to save with his legs!
Another change for Barca. Pedro comes off and David Villa is introduced to the action to rapturous applause from the Camp Nou crown. He is a popular player in Catalunya.
I think Atletico are currently paying the price for their blistering start to the match. They chased Barca down and put them under pressure at every opportunity but there are definite signs of fatigue out there among the players of the capital side.
Tito Vilanova makes his first change of the match and takes off Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean, who has not been at his best tonight, is replaced by Thiago Alcantara.
Barca looking very, very comfortable at the moment. They have kept the ball expertly and as a result, Atletico have not been able to muster any kind of threat in the second half. Falcao has been isolated up there.
Arda clips a ball over the top of the defence for Falcao but the Colombian is offside. He gets a pat of the back and a nod of respect from Puyol. Pretty nice to see that.
The Atletico penalty area is packed as Xavi steps up to take a corner from the left. It is fairly shallow from the Barca man, however, and the visitors manage to clear the ball to safety. The home side pick up again.
A big cheer comes from the Camp Nou crowd as David Villa comes out to warm up. Barca are blessed with a fairly formidable bench tonight. Vilanova keeps things are they are for now, though.
An uncharacteristically poor pass from Messi. The Argentine counterattacks at tremendous pace down the centre and Alexis is on plenty of room to his left. However, the final pass if badly over-hit and Courtois comes out to claim.
Wonderful play from Falcao. The Colombian comes deep and fights off numerous challenges before spraying a superb pass to the right-hand side. Adrian curls the ball to the back post but Barca manage to clear.
Barca doing well to stifle any potential attacks from Atletico. Falcao has been fairly quiet since the break but he has received very little service. The Catalan side totally dominant in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.
Well, you can't accuse Diego Simeone of inaction. The Atletico boss makes his third and final change as he brings on Tiago for Diego Costa. They are going for it and putting Adrian up top with Falcao.
Assist Alexis Sánchez
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! And who else? Lionel Messi picks up the ball on the edge of the area and whips the ball into the bottom left corner! Courtois with no chance! 3-1 to the hosts!
Another early change from Atletico. Adrian Lopez, who is making his return from injury, takes the place of Mario Suarez. An interesting one from Simeone. It looks as if they are switching to a 4-3-3.
A small break in play now as Diego Costa is down injured. The Brazilian took a sore one from Sergio Busquets and is clutching his ankle. He slowly gets to his feet and it looks as if he is okay.
Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi are all looking very dangerous in central areas. The tempo of their play is very high but Atletico have done well to squeeze any openings. How long can they keep up this high level of concentration, though?
Barca's play has been very sharp since the re-start. There is a lot more zip to their play than we seen at the start of the match. Atletico defending very deep inside their own half.
Yellow Card Mario Suárez
Early booking for Atletico. Alexis Sanchez does brilliantly to control a high ball inside the opposition half and drives inside but is cynically brought down by Suarez. Deserved yellow card.
A change to report for you at the break. Cata Diaz has came on to replace Filipe. Juanfran has moved over to the left-hand side of defence.
We are back under way in Camp Nou!
Half time. Well, lets all take 15 minutes to take a few breaths! Truly fantastic game here at Camp Nou. Falcao opened the scoring with a sublime finish but a goal of the season contender from Adriano and a close-range strike from Busquets has shifted momentum Barcelona's way. 2-1 at the break, join us in 15 minutes.
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! A scramble ensues inside the Atletico box and the ball eventually falls to Busquets who shows fantastic composure to take an assured touch before blasting home from seven yards! 2-1 Barca!
Adriano comes in at the back post!! The Brazilian drifts in and gets on the end of an Iniesta cross to nod the ball across goal. Alba almost gets on the end of it but Atletico clear!
Falcao, being the warrior that he is, climbs to his feet. Barca have looked much the better team since equalising. There is definitely another goal in this before the break.
Some worrying scenes for Atletico as Falcao is currently down. Puyol accidentally caught the Colombian with his studs on the outside of his foot. For the good of this game we hope he's okay!
Two absolutely glorious goals in their own right. The standard of play in the match right now is phenomenal. We don't want half time to come!
Assist Andrés Iniesta Luján
GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Oh my!! WHAT A STRIKE!!! Adriano picks the ball up on the right-hand side and cuts the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the box. He then unleashes a thunderous strike off the bar and in!
The goal seems to have perked Barca into life. They will have to think of something different to penetrate this sturdy Atletico defence, though. What they have been doing so far hasn't worked.
There are no doubts about who is winning the Falcao versus Messi battle so far. The Colombian's pace and power have been a nightmare for he Barca defence so far. However, count the Argentine out at your peril.
Assist Diego Costa
Goal Radamel Falcao
GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR ATLETICO MADRID!! And it's Falcao!! Diego Costa robs Messi of possession on the halfway line and slides the ball through for the Colombian to drive through on goal and majestically dink the ball over Valdes with his left foot! Absolutely sublime! 1-0 Atletico!
The free kick is indirect so Busquets tees the ball up for Messi who attempts to curl the ball into the top corner. However, the pressure put on him by the breaking Atletico wall means he puts it over the bar.
Free kick to Barca in a great position. Miranda jumps out from defence and lifts his leg to steal the ball from Messi. The referee deems this as dangerous play and gives the free kick. Certainly a soft foul.
Diego Simeone's men have had the best two opportunities to go ahead here, and both have fell to Radamel Falcao. It looks like the Colombian is in the mood tonight.
Falcao misses a great chance!! Atletico take a quick free kick on the halfway line and the Colombian runs through on goal. He is under massive pressure from the retreating Barca defenders and drags his left-footed shot wide!
Free kick to Barca. Messi looks poised to have a crack at goal and does so, however the Atletico wall remains solid to deny the Argentine. The away side really are defending brilliantly here.
Great block by Pique!! Godin makes a well-timed interception on the edge of his own box and Atletico break forward at pace. Arda finds space inside the box and lashes a strike at goal but the Barca defender is there to charge down the shot!
Xavi whips in the corner but Falcao manages to clear the ball up the park! It looks like he's just as effective in his own box!
Alexis Sanchez and Jordi Alba link-up brilliantly on the left wing. The former Valencia man receives the ball on the overlap and gets to the byline before lifting a cross to the back post. Atletico clear for a corner.
Barca are having to work extremely hard to try and find space in the Atletico box. Suarez and Gabi are sitting as anchormen in front of the defence there is very little room for Messi and Co. to maneouver.
Iniesta drifts out to the left-hand side and looks to burst down the wing. Koke comes down with him and he and Juanfran manage to usher the ball out of play for an Atletico goal kick. Good defending from the visitors.
Atletico defending bravely at the moment. Adriano has lashed in a couple of wicked crosses into the box but Miranda and Godin have dealt with the aerial threat well. I doubt they are going to get out-jumped by Messi, Pedro, or Alexis, though.
Well, a very early warning of the danger that Falcao poses. He will simply need to be kept at bay by the Barca defenders.
Falcao hits the post!!! So unlucky! A ball is whipped in from the right-hand side and the Colombian glances a superb header towards the bottom corner but it comes off the upright! Costa looks to latch on to the rebound but Barca clear!
Atletico enjoying a small period of possession at the moment. Juanfran slips a nice ball down the wing for Costa but Puyol comes over with a commanding tackle, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The corner is whipped in but Barcelona manage to clear. Atletico may fancy their chances from set-pieces tonight, they have plenty of height in their team.
Excellent challenge from Pique! Atletico counterattack at pace through the middle and the ball eventually comes to Falcao. The Colombian slips the ball round the corner for Arda but the former Manchester United defender comes in with a superb tackle. Corner to the visitors.
Probably as expected, Barca calmly keeping the ball in the opening stages. Atletico are pressing well, though. Let's see how long they can keep it up.
We are under way at Camp Nou!
The players have took to the field now, and we are only a few moments from kick-off!
It is not usual that this game has genuine title ramifications, but with Diego Simeone's men 2nd in La Liga, they will need to pull out a performance tonight!
This week, Lionel Messi shattered another record. The Argentine is currently sitting at 88 goals for the calendar year, breaking the record of 85 previously held by Gerd Muller.
Falcao became the first player in over a decade to score five goals in a single La Liga game with his tally against Deportivo last week.
A massive boost for Atletico that Radamel Falcao has been passed fit. The Colombian had been struggling with a minor muscle injury but he does indeed play. Messi vs Falcao it is, then.
This is the starting XI of Atletico: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe; Suarez, Gabi; Arda, Koke, Diego Costa; Falcao.
This is how Barcelona will be lining up tonight: Valdes; Adriano, Pique, Puyol, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Pedro.
THE TEAMS ARE IN.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action tonight. The top two sides in La Liga fight it out tonight. I think we are in for a real cracker!
Good evening ladies and gents! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division top of the table clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou!
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