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September 24, 2011
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
• Attendance: 79000
FULL-TIME! Barcelona beat Atletico 5-0 with Messi grabbing a superb hat-trick. Villa grabbed a goal while Miranda scored an unfortunate own-goal as Guardiola's men completely dominated throughout in a virtuoso performance. That's all from me, Luke Matthews tonight. Be sure to check out all the other games today on Goal.com. Buenas Noches.
90' + 1'
Assist David Villa
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
5-0 BARCELONA! MESSI HAT-TRICK! The little wizard picks up the ball from a great one-two with Villa and drills the ball home between the legs of the keeper from a tight angle. SUPERB.
Atletico have a late chance to grab a consolation yet Diego lifts his free-kick over the bar from 22 yards. The Brazilian would have probably liked that set-piece to be a bit further out.
Barcelona are simply playing down the clock now as they look to end the game in possession.
Valdes is alert again to block Adrian's effort following a decent through by Diego. Gabi tries his luck from the rebound yet his long range effort bounces wide.
Atletico will be hoping to play the final seven minutes without conceding another. Barcelona have been at their brilliant best tonight and will be hoping to continue their form against BATE Borisov midweek in the Champions League.
Messi has now scored 64 goals in 64 games going back to the beginning of last season in all competitions. An absolutely astounding record.
Assist Daniel Alves
4-0 BARCELONA! Messi has his second goal of the night and it's a superb finish. The attacker accelerates past Perea and then Godin before finishing coolly into the bottom corner, leaving Courtois helpless.
Barcelona have created a certain fear factor at Camp Nou. Villarreal and now Atletico have been easily dispensed of so far this season, despite both teams having strong, competitive sides.
Thiago shows some brilliant skill to beat his marker on the right before cutting in-field and shooting for goal. His powerful effort is parried by the keeper and Messi's follow-up shot is blocked well by Miranda.
From the resulting free-kick, Messi comes within inches of making it 4-0 with a well-taken effort.
Yellow Card L. Perea
Perea is next player into the book for bringing down Messi on the edge of the box. The Argentine runs 50 yards with the ball, taking on several Atletico players before he is brought down by the Columbian defender. Keita replaces Fabregas.
Yellow Card Piqué
All Barcelona still who are unwilling to give their opposition a touch of the ball. Pique shows some rest when he slides Turan to give away a free-kick and earn himself a yellow card.
Messi slides a precise through ball into the path of Villa who takes his shot first time from 12 yards out. However, the record-breaking Spanish international can only strike the ball at the legs of Courtois who makes another decent stop.
Just as Messi is about to pull the trigger in the box, Perea comes in with a well-times sliding tackle. Improved defensive performance from away side in the second-half.
Messi gets the ball into the box from a corner but Godin beats Abidal to the ball to put it out for another corner. Increased pressure from Barca. Will there be a fourth tonight?
During a brief scurry forward, Falcao nearly gets in on goal but Valdes is alert and clears the ball to safety.
Barcelona have let their foot of the gas slightly as we approach the final half hour. The Catalan giants still look comfortable but look like they know the three points are already in the bag.
Atleti are having a little spell of possession now with Falcao having to come deep just to get a touch of the ball. Barca are still pressing hard to make the away side's task virtually impossible.
NEARLY FOUR! Fabregas finds Messi with a delicious through ball but the Argentine is unable to get the better of Courtois who makes a smart block. Busquets is replaced by Pique.
Pique looks like he is about to make his first Liga appearance of the season. Who will be replaced?
Barcelona are now controlling the tempo of the game with Fabregas and Xavi particularly looking irresistible.
ATLETI COME CLOSE! The substitue Turan does well to get into the box from the left wing but his ball across the six-yard line fails to find an Atletico player. Big waste.
The away side have also replaced Reyes with the lively Salvio who was so impressive on-loan at Benfica last season.
Atletico get us back under way in the second-half. The away team have brought on Turan in place of Suarez and will surely revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation.
HALF-TIME! Barcelona are 3-0 up over Atletico and are playing at their stunning best. Goals from Villa, Messi and a Miranda own-goal have surely given the home team an unassailable lead at the break. Manzano's side will be grateful for the 15 minutes rest but will surely already be dreading going back out. Do not go anywhere guys, I have a feeling there may be another goal or two in this one!
Reyes tries to play a long ball over the top for Falcao to run onto yet Busquets does brilliantly to get his head to the ball and calmly play it to Mascherano.
Atletico have been on the ropes since the beginning of the game and Barca are showing no signs of letting up. We're approaching half-time but can the home team grab a fourth?
FABREGAS HITS THE CROSSBAR! The former Arsenal midfielder tries an audacious chip from 25 yards but can only watch on as the ball agonsingly skims off the top of the bar. Stunning football.
Thiago shows some excellent skill on the left wing to beat Perea before making his way into the box. However, the Spanish international tries to do too much as he loses the ball when attempting to cut the ball onto his right-foot.
It's worth noting that before tonight's game, Atleti had the best defensive record league in the league, conceding only two goals. Barcelona managed to beat that in less than half hour tonight, mesmerising stuff.
Miranda has injured Thiago with a late challenge yet the referee and his assistants have failed to see it. After a few brief words, play continues.
Barcelona have enjoyed 71 per cent of possesion so far to Atletico's 29. I'm surprised it's not more to be honest, such is their dominance.
The home team are in the ascendancy here and what chance to Atleti have when Barca are in this form? Manzano will be hoping his side do not concede again before the break.
That goal saw Messi score against the 50th goalkeeper of his career. If you ever needed proof of who is the best player in the world then check out that goal.
3-0 BARCELONA! Stunning goal from Messi. The Argentine plays a one-two with Pedro before making Lopez and Miranda look like complete and utter fools with a wonderful drop of the shoulder. The attacker then slams the ball past the helpless keeper from 10 yards out.
Thiago runs with the ball towards goal but takes the wrong option when he attempts to slide a through ball to Villa with Perea intercepting play. The diminutive midfielder could and probably should have gone for goal there from the edge of the box.
All Barcelona at the moment who are slowly toying with their opposition. Falcao and Diego who have both made bright starts to their careers in Spain have hardly had a look in tonight.
Guardiola's side are certainly in the mood this evening and only an offside flag stops Pedro from making it three. Atleti look shell-shocked.
This could be an absolute annihilation if the game carries on like this. Interesting stat here for you. 10 of the last 18 goals let in by Atletico at Camp Nou have been in the first 19 minutes.
Own Goal Miranda
2-0 BARCELONA! It's an unfortunate own-goal from Miranda. Pedro plays a fine one-two with Thiago before squaring the ball to Messi who is on goal. The Argentine sees his shot saved by Courtois yet the ball rebounds off Miranda's leg and into the net from six yards out.
Xavi is like a quarterback this evening. For the second time, he plays a wonderful ball over the top of the Atleti defence and onto the foot of Pedrp. Despite controlling the ball well, the winger swings the ball high and wide of the goal.
So after a fairly bright opening, Manzano's men find themselves a goal down. How will the away side respond?
Goal David Villa
1-0 BARCELONA! Brilliant goal from the home side here. Xavi plays a precise long ball over the head of Perea, straight on to the foot of Villa. The striker controls the ball before beating Miranda and slamming it past Courtois. Ice cool finish.
Atletico are defending well so far and will be encouraged with the start they have made. The home team are still seeing plenty of the ball yet their opposition are doing well to minimize available space.
TIAGO HITS THE BAR! After a slick passing move, Reyes cuts the ball back to Tiago who sees his strike thunder off the bar with Valdes looking helpless. Big let off for Barcelona there.
As usually is the case, the home side are dominating possession from the offset, ensuring everyone gets a touch of the ball. Corner for Barca.
The champions Barcelona get us underway here, kicking from left to right. The Catalan giants are in their tradtional red and blue while Atletico wear red and white striped shirts with red shorts and red socks.
Both sets of players are now on the pitch. Expect goals in this one. In their last four Camp Nou meetings against Atletico, Barca have scored 17 goals, conceding only three in reply.
Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique both start the game on the bench for Barcelona, meaning Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano are reacquainted in the unfamiliar territory of defence. David Villa also returns to the starting XI in place of Seydou Keita with Cesc Fabregas instructed to drop back into midfield, alongside Thiago and Xavi.
Despite drawing away games against Real Sociedad and Valencia, Guardiola's side have made a 100 per cent start at home in La Liga, scoring 13 goals in wins versus Villarreal and Osasuna. Also, since the beginning of the 2009-10 league campaign, Barcelona have won 36 games out of 40 at Camp Nou, dropping only nine points along the way. Not that Atletico should be scared...
Atletico Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Perea, Godin, Miranda, Antonio Lopez; Tiago, Gabi, Suarez; Diego, Reyes, Falcao
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Busquets, Mascherano, Abidal; Thiago, Xavi, Fabregas; Messi, Pedro, Villa
Here come the teams...
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Saturday evening Liga fixture between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid from Camp Nou. I'm Luke Matthews and i'll be guiding you through tonight's action. The Catalan giants could only manage a 2-2 draw away at Valencia midweek and will be looking to return to winning ways against an in-form Atletico side. Can Pep Guardiola's men see off the threat of Radamel Falcao and co?
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