Barcelona are sitting comfortably at the top of the La Liga table following their 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid, a singular goal from Ousmane Dembele making the difference. It has put three points between them and rivals Real Madrid, who lost on Saturday to Villarreal.
Speaking to Sport after the match in Madrid, Sergio Busquets credited those dropped points as the motivation for the Blaugrana.
“We knew that Real Madrid had stumbled at Villarreal and that it was an opportunity that we had to take, and that’s how it was.”
Atletico Madrid will have been frustrated with the result, having failed to capitalise on their dominance for two thirds of the match. Busquets felt that the game evened out in the second half though.
“We knew it was a difficult ground, but we got ahead on the scoreboard and Pedri had the opportunity to make it 0-2. Later, they pressured us and we could not get out. In the second half we controlled the game more and although we suffered we got three very important points.”
“It’s important to keep a clean sheet and even more so in such a difficult stadium. All your opponents make it very difficult for you, so we have to be solid to continue advancing in the League.”
Barcelona have only conceded six goals in their 16 La Liga matches this season, and it is their defensive record that has seen them into this position.
“We would have liked to be more effective and have more opportunities, but they, apart from the one Araujo clears off the line, have hardly had chances. Yes, a lot of crosses, but few chances.”
With Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde all available now, Xavi Hernandez has a wealth of options in central defence to aid that. Previously the Blaugrana had been nursing injuries at the position, which will only serve to see them continue to get stronger at the back.