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Deportivo La Coruña
17 May 2014
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 96973
A. Sánchez 34'
D. Godín 49'
Los Colchoneros win the Spanish Primera Division for the first time since 1996 and they did it in the most incredible way possible, by drawing with the reigning champions on their own patch. It all looked doom and gloom in the first half as Diego Costa and Arda Turan both went off injured and Alexis Sanchez put Barca 1-0 up. However, a presumably inspirational team talk from Diego Simeone saw Atletico come flying out of the blocks and equalise early on through a bullet header from Diego Godin. A supremely tense climax to the La Liga season, but Atletico Madrid run out deserved champions! I'm Martin Macdonald, thanks for joining us for this sensational match, and we'll see you for the Champions League next week!
FULL TIME! ATLETICO MADRID ARE CHAMPIONS OF LA LIGA!!!
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Raúl García
90' + 2'
There is only one or two players outwith the Atletico Madrid box at the moment! ONLY 10 SECONDS REMAINING!!
90' + 1'
THREE MINUTES OF ADDED TIME! ATLETICO MADRID CAN TASTE THE TITLE!! CAN THEY HOLD ON?!
Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
Absolutely superb from Sosa! The substitute gets down the inside right-channel and knocks the ball past Mascherano before earning a foul out of the Argentine. Atleti will take this short and look to keep possession in the corner!
Villa takes the ball for a run down the left wing and then reverts back before laying back to Filipe, The duo, and Koke, intelligently keep the ball for a few moments with short, stabbed passes. Barca win the ball back though and mount a counter!
That's brilliant play from Tiago. The Portuguese steals the ball from Alexis inside the box and then gets his body in front of the Barca man to draw the foul, and so take the pressure right off his team-mates. That must be gold dust!
Penalty shout for Barca! Adriano lofts a cross into the box and Pique looks to head at goal, before being bundled over by the challenge of Godin. NO FOUL GIVEN!! That's probably the correct decision!
How did that not go in for Atletico?! Koke swings in a corner kick from the right and the ball stops dead pretty much on the line! Pinto manages to scramble up the park and Barca look to counterattack!
Villa looks to catalyse a counterattack into the Barca final third but any potential attack is halted by Mascherano, who comes in with a superbly-timed challenge to claw the ball from the feet of his former team-mate!
SAAAAAVE BY COURTOIS!! Dani Alves gets the ball to feet 30 yards out and puts everything behind a right-footed strike at goal that looks as if it's bending into the corner, but the Atleti keeper retreats to tip over the bar!
Martino uses his last throw of the dice and it is not a bad substitute to bring on. Barcelona's record appearance holder, Xavi, comes on to replace Fabregas. Can the vice-captain of Los Cules inspire an unbelievable comeback?
Koke displays fantastic strength to hold off a couple of challenges before taking a few strides towards goal. He is eventually upended by Song on the edge of the box and Atletico can get a welcomed breather from a set piece.
Just over 15 minutes of normal time to go in this La Liga decider at Camp Nou! Atletico are currently champions but one moment of brilliance or one mistake could shift the balance! The atmosphere is on a knife edge!
Yellow Card Alex Song
Simeone delves into his bench for the third and final time as he withdraws Adrian for Jose Sosa, who'll just add some legs, as well as some creativity, in the middle of the park for Atletico. I don't envy his task coming in to this!
Yellow Card Filipe Luis
Messi steps up and smashes the free kick but the Atletico wall typically stands tall to block the route to goal! This is so incredibly intense! The nerves must be shredded on both sides of the dugout!
Poor challenge by Filipe! Messi ominously collects the ball on the edge of the area and skips past a challenge before looking to drive into the box, but before he can he is scythed down by the Atletico full back! Free kick in a great position for Barca! Neymar and Messi stand over it!
This is end-to-end stuff here in Camp Nou! Adrian looks to meet a superb pass over the top of the Barcelona defence and takes the ball down with an assured touch before driving at goal, but Mascherano recovers well to steal back possession for Barca!
GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL FOR BARCELONA!! WAIT! NO! OFFSIDE!! Messi latches on to a loose ball at the back post and smashes a strike into the roof of the net, but the linesman had his flag up! It looked like the correct decision!
Tata Martino makes his second change in quick succession as he introduces Neymar in place of Pedro. The Brazilian has had his critics this season, but what an impact it would be if he were to come on and help the cause to win the league.
Atletico are pressing Barca brilliantly here, but the hosts are remaining composed in order to keep possession. It was a scintillating opening 15 minutes of the half, but the Catalan side are just dominating the ball again now.
Pinto practices his five-a-side skills once again at the back as he received a pass back from Mascherano. One of these days the Barca keeper is going to be caught out, and he'll just be hoping it doesn't cost his side La Liga.
Well that Busquets injury was picked up during an aerial challenge with Tiago, and although it looked innocuous, it doesn't look like he'll be bale to continue. It is a straight swap for Alex Song who'll be deployed in the same position in front of the Barca defence.
Every Barca fan has their hearts in their mouths as Pinto languishes in possession at the back whilst David Villa makes up the ground to press the ball. In the end the goalkeeper clears to a relieved gasp from the home crowd.
Busquets is just doing his best to halt the ascendancy of Atletico once again as he goes down with another injury. He's certainly done well to take the tempo out of the game; injury or no injury.
Well it looks like Simeone has definitely earned his wages at half time and delivered a terrific team talk! Atletico have came FLYING out of the blocks after the break and could already have scored three! Barca can't handle them at the moment!
Goal Diego Godín
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR ATLETICO MADRID!! THEY EQUALISE RIGHT OUT THE BLOCKS!! Gabi whips a corner kick to the back post and Diego Godin out jumps everyone to bullet a header into the bottom corner! Incredible celebrations! We're all square!
Villa gets in behind the Barcelona defence and just takes too much time to pull the trigger, which allows Dani Alves to get his body in the way and usher the ball to Pinto, who scrambled off his line to clear!
ATLETICO HITS THE POST!! Koke lifts a lovely pass into the feet of Villa, who turns sharply inside the box before rifling a left-footed strike towards the bottom corner which cannons off the woodwork! So, so unlucky!
We are back under way at Camp Nou!
Half time in the Camp Nou. A pretty much nightmare first half for Atletico Madrid as they lose Diego Costa and Arda Turan to injury and also go a goal down thanks to a fantastic Alexis Sanchez strike. Los Colchoneros did respond well to going a goal down though and looked dangerous towards the end of the half, but they've got a big task on their hands if they are to get themselves back in this. As it stands, Barcelona are La Liga champions.
45' + 3'
Yellow Card Busquets
45' + 3'
Yellow Card Lionel Messi
45' + 1'
Atletico enjoy a good spell of dominance inside the Barca half as Koke whips in a couple of corner kicks which leaves the hosts shakily scrambling clear. Busquets eventually takes the sting out of the match by going down with an innocuous injury.
That's superb defending from Dani Alves! A wonderful cross is whipped to the back post and Adrian looks poised to meet it to have a crack at goal, but the Barca defender covers in behind and diverts the ball behind for a corner.
Atletico get all the big guns into the box for a corner kick as they look to claw themselves back into contention before the break. Koke swings in the set-piece, but Pinto does well to come off his line and commandingly punch away from danger.
Fabregas finds the run of the overlapping Dani Alves with a lovely diagonal pass out to the right-hand side, and the Brazilian cleverly takes his first touch past Filipe before bursting into the box, but the patrolling Godin gets his body in front of the ball to usher it out of play for a goal kick.
This is a brilliant spell for Los Cules at the moment. That goal from Alexis has given them bags of confidence going forward and they look dangerous any time they venture into the final third. Atletico have got one of the best defences in Europe this season though, and they'll need to remain as solid as they have been for the majority of the campaign if they want to head into half time with just the one goal deficit.
Yellow Card Tiago
Yellow Card Diego Godín
Real signs of frustration creeping into the Atletico ranks now. Within two minutes, Diego Godin and Tiago go into the book for identical hacks at the back of Pedro and Fabregas respectively. It's so imperative that they keep their heads here, but it's not looking good!
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Alexis Sánchez
GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! GOOOOAAAAALLLL!! GOOOAAAALLL FOR BARCELONA!! What a sensational strike from Alexis Sanchez!! Fabregas dinks a ball into the box and Messi chests into the path of the Chilean, who somehow squeezes a half volley into the top right corner! One-nil Barca!
Since those two injuries to Arda and Diego Costa there's only really been one team in this. Barca have upped their tempo as they look for the opener here.
Messi receives the ball to feet once again and this time he takes a few strides forward down the right wing. He typically cuts inside and looks for the run of Alexis at the back post but ends up whipping the ball straight out of play. He's just been slightly guilty of trying to force it for Barca so far.
Miranda clears the ball out of the danger area and David Villa collects at his feet before looking to jink past Busquets, but not before the Barca man comes in with a crunching challenge which earns him a telling off from the referee. Atletico get the free kick deep inside their own half.
PEDROOOO!! Dani Alves in the architect of the latest Barca attack again as he bursts down the touchline before whipping a superb cross to the back post for his team-mate. The La Masia graduate meets the ball high in the air but just can't direct his header between the sticks! That was a really good opportunity, but not taken by the hosts!
Raul Garcia and Fabregas get involved in an aerial battle just inside the Barcelona box and the ball falls kindly to Koke, who fires a half volley at goal from 20 yards out, but Pique bursts out of defence to strongly block the route to goal. Good defending.
Alexis Sancheeeezzzz!!! Dani Alves gets into an advanced position down the right-hand side and stands a cross into the six yard box for the Chilean, who rises high before glancing a header towards the top corner. The towering figure of Courtois manages to claim the strike out of the air, but it was a good attempt!
The Turkish international will not be able to continue, and is forced to come off injured. Simeone looks absolutely crestfallen in the dugout as he sees two of his best players come off injured. He's got a more than competent replacement lined up though, as Raul Garcia comes on.
It couldn't happen to Atletico again could it? Arda Turn is currently down after receiving a knock to the hip and Simeone has ordered Raul Garcia to start warming up on the touchline. This would be incredible bad luck if he was to go off injured too.
There's no doubt that Barcelona will take confidence from that injury to Diego Costa. With Atletico now missing their best player, are Barca now favourites to claim La Liga?
Simeone's worst fears have been realised as Diego Costa will not be able to continue, and has burst into tears in the touchline. He wont be able to help his side in the title decider, but will it also mean missing out on the Champions League final? Adrian Lopez is his replacement.
Some very worrying scenes here as it looks like Diego Costa has aggravated that hamstring injury that has kept him out over the past few weeks. What a blow it would be to lose him, but he just just receiving treatment by the physio so we should know soon if he'll be okay to continue. Doesn't look promising, though...
Busquets does brilliantly down the left wing to skip past the challenge of Koke before sliding a pass inside for Iniesta, who in turn drills a pass to the feet of Messi. The Argentine glides across the surface for a few strides before looking for Alexis inside, but Miranda comes out to intercept.
Some dodgy defending from Barca here! Gabi lifts a lovely pass over the top of the opposition defence for the overlapping Juanfran, who sends the ball back into the danger area. Pique and Pinto nearly get in each other's way but the former ends up slicing a clearance over the bar!
Mascherano just steps out of defence at the wrong time which generates some space up top for Atletico. Diego Costa looks to latch on to a loose ball through the middle but Adriano is covering well and comes across to clear the high into the stand. When in doubt, put it out!
The hosts just look to have found their feet and and are now starting to look more confident in possession. A sustained period of possession in the final third has seen Atletico camped back inside their own penalty area, but no real penetration from Barca as of yet.
Courtois is called into action for the first time as Adriano cuts in from the left wing before lashing a speculative shot at goal from 25 yards out. It is a relatively comfortable save for the Belgian, who gets down to collect.
Yellow Card Piqué
Pique will be walking on egg shells for the rest of the match now as he is awarded a booking just four minutes into the match for a foul on Koke. It just looked like a coming together in the middle of the park, so it seems slightly harsh to award the yellow. Diego Costa's eyes lit up when he saw the Barca defender go into the book so early.
As expected, it's an electric opening to the match as both sides hound each other down looking to reclaim possession. Atleti settle the better and pop the ball around for five or six passes down the left wing before it eventually goes out for a Barca goal kick.
Barca look to instigate a counterattack down the left-hand side and have the man advantage going forward, but they get let off the hook slightly as the referee penalises Pedro for a handball. Slightly harsh, but those are the rules in La Liga!
We are under way in Camp Nou! Barcelona and Atletico Madrid go head-to-head for the title!
What an atmoshpere inside Camp Nou! This is going to be a special one!
Diego Simeone's most prolific tactic against Barcelona in recent games has been his side's ability to nulify the threat of Messi in the final third. The Argentine has not scored in six outings against Atletico, who will need to keep him quiet once again if they are going to win La Liga today.
The headline of the team news for Atletico is that star striker, Diego Costa has been passed fit to start in this league decider. The newly capped Spain international, who was named in the World Cup squad this week, has shook off a hamstring injury to feature from the start. He'll be partnered up top by David Villa, who makes his return to Camp Nou against his former employers.
Jordi Alba is not fit enough to start though and only features on the bench, with Adriano starting at left-back. Fabregas moves back into his preferred midfield position, with Xavi dropped to the subs bench also. Alexis Sanchez and Pedro support Messi up top.
Barcelona will be buoyed by the fact that Gerard Pique finally looks to have shook off that troublesome hip injury to feature at the back today alongside Javier Mascherano. The Spaniard picked up the knock in an aerial duel with Diego Costa in the first leg of the Champions League semi final against Atletico, and we'll more than likely see a battle between those two once again!
Atletico (4-4-2): Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Arda Turan; Villa, Diego Costa.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Pinto; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Busquets, Fabregas, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Pedro.
Atletico Madrid have not won La Liga since 1996, and this is without a doubt their best chance to be crowned champions once again. But they come up against formidable opposition in the form of reigning champs, Barcelona. There really has not been much to pick between the sides this season, so it's anyone's guess what the outcome will be!
Barcelona have been boosted by the news this week that Lionel Messi is set to extend his contract with the club. With his future settled, can we expect a more settled, stellar performance from the Ballon d'Or winner? Recent outings against Atletico for Messi have not been too fruitful, but what a day it is to stop the rot!
Both sides have surrendered their chance to claim La Liga before today due to some stuttering form over the past few weeks. Barca have drew their last two matches against Getafe and Elche and Atleti were defeated 2-0 away to Levante before being held 1-1 against Malaga at the Vicente Calderon.
As if their needed to be, but there is an added spice to the match today as Atletico recently knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage thanks to a 2-1 aggregate victory over two legs. The current champions, as well as looking to retain their crown, will certainly have an element of revenge on their minds. Los Colchoneros, on the other hand, still have the Champions League final against arch rivals, Real Madrid, to look forward to one week from today. Let's hope their minds are on the job at hand!
So, basically, it is winner takes all in Catalunya!
Barcelona currently sit second in the league with 86 points taken from 37 matches, which is three points behind leaders, Atletico, on 89. If Tata Martino's outfit win today they will move on to the same points as Diego Simeone's men, but will be crowned champions due to the superior head-to-head, as the previous clash earlier in the season between the sides ended in a 0-0 stalemate. This, of course, means that a draw at Camp Nou for the capital cub would be enough to see them win the league.
This completely incredible La Liga season reaches it's exciting climax this afternoon as Los Cules and Los Colchoneros battle it out over 90 minutes to see who will be crowned champions.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and it's my pleasure to take you through the action!
This... is the league decider!
Good evening folks! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid from Camp Nou!
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