NEWS
Sunday December 1 2019
Lionel Messi seals dramatic Barcelona win at Atletico Madrid

Barcelona returned to the top of La Liga, as Lionel Messi's late goal secured a battling 1-0 win away at rivals Atletico Madrid.

Ernesto Valverde's side edged out a bad tempered clash, with eight players booked at the Wanda Metropolitano, with the Argentinian making the vital difference in the closing stages.

The hosts were the better side in the first half, with Marc Ter Stegen making excellent stops from Mario Hermoso and Alvaro Morata, before the break.

Valverde's side struggled to trouble Jan Oblak, with Gerard Pique's looped header, which hit the bar on 44 minutes, going down as their best chance.

The visitors looked to go through the gears after the restart, with Messi and former Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann both testing Oblak.

Diego Simeone was left incensed with 20 minutes to go, as Pique escaped a second yellow card for a late tackle on substitute Vitolo on the edge of the Barcelona box.

However, just as the game looked set to be heading for a scoreless draw, Messi produced a moment of inspiration to seal all three points for the visitors.

Frenkie De Jong fed him inside the right channel, and he escaped Saul Niguez to find Luis Suarez, and the Uruguayan international cushioned a perfect return pass into Messi, who bent a brilliant strike into the bottom corner.

Football Italia website