Yannick Carrasco scored the only goal of the game when Atlético de Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0 to inflict a third defeat of the La Liga season on Ronald Koeman’s side.
Carrasco showed a cool head to roll into an empty net from over 30 yards after goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen was caught off his line.
– Report: Atlético beat Barça 1-0, the first for Simeone in La Liga
Clement Lenglet came closer to equalizing for Barça, who lost Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto through injury, but Atlético held on to maintain their unbeaten La Liga record and advance on points with leader Real Sociedad.
Koeman will leave the Wanda Metropolitano with a long list of negatives and few positives. In a push, Ousmane Dembele’s renewed stamina is good news for Barça and the French forward could play a bigger role in the weeks ahead.
Before even analyzing the performance, Barça will be fearing the worst after Piqué left the field with a knee injury. With Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo also injured, Lenglet is the only center-back in form at the club at the moment. Losing Piqué for any length of time would be a disaster and, well, it doesn’t look good.
To make matters worse, Sergi Roberto also limped at the end, although his injury did not seem so serious.
However, Barça cannot blame injuries for Saturday’s defeat. This was a toothless performance that lacked leadership and struggled to bring down Atlético. They hardly created chances and at the risk of upsetting the elephant in the room, Lionel Messi is far from his best.
Administrator rating (out of 10)
5 – Koeman was already without Sergio Busquets and Ansu Fati due to injuries, so he could not afford to lose more players. In that sense, in terms of personnel, his hands were tied at the Wanda. However, it is fair to ask you to be a little more creative with your tactics. This is still a Barça team with attacking players like Messi, Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho in the ranks. Finding a more effective combination is vital.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players submitted after 70 minutes are not rated)
GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 5 – He made a brilliant save from Saúl Niguez in the fifth minute, but took most of the blame for Atlético’s goal. He was caught miles from his goal while trying in vain to intercept the forward long pass, and Carrasco made the most of it.
DF Sergi Roberto, 6 – He did well on the right-back and worked hard when pushed into midfield, but his mediocrity is a sign of how standards have fallen at Barca.
DF Gerard Piqué, 5 – He made a mistake that led to Atlético’s goal on a night that he will want to forget in a hurry. He was on the verge of tears when he left the pitch in the second half injured.
DF Clemente Lenglet, 6 – He had two of the best chances for Barça, both headed. The second was his best chance, but he nodded directly to Jan Oblak.
DF Jordi Alba, 6 – He moved into a couple of promising positions down the left and created a good opportunity for Messi.
MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 – He came in for the injured Busquets and did enough to keep his spot. Good with the ball and an alternative to Messi in set pieces.
MF Frenkie de Jong, 6 – Barça need more of him in midfield, but he continues to do well when asked to play as a provisional center-back, something that unfortunately happens too often.
FW Ousmane Dembele, 7 – He was encouraged from the start and created a good opportunity for Griezmann in the first five minutes. It looked like he was going to beat his man every time he received the ball at one point, but Atlético finally managed to control his pace.
OF Lionel Messi, 6 – He will look back at his opportunity just before the first goal, prepared by Alba, when he shot straight at Oblak. He also created the best Barça opening for Lenglet. Despite that, he still doesn’t seem to be at his best.
FW Pedri, 6 – A quiet game down the left after a series of impressive performances in recent weeks. He struggled with the physicality of Atlético.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 5 – Unable to comply against his old team. His best chance was a direct header to Oblak just before he was taken out at the end.
DEL Philippe Coutinho, 6 – He came back from a hamstring injury with little effect in the second half.
DF Sergino Dest, 6 – He replaced the injured Piqué and offered an exit from the right in the last quarter of the game.
FW Martin Braithwaite, N / A – He launched late and was blocked by a diving shot.
DEL Francisco Trincao, N / R – Good footwork in limited minutes, but his showmanship led to nothing.