Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid faced off at the Camp Nou on a decisive match: the last chance for Barça, with no margin error, and sunk on a deep institutional crisis that has also turned into scoring issues that have put them far away from their direct rival. On the other side, Atlético, which are solid on the third spot, could give the title to their eternal enemy if they stopped Barça. In game the match that could decide LaLiga.
Griezmann started the game from the bench once again, and Atlético did not put Joao Félix in the starting lineup. Riqui Puig formed Barça´s midfielder as Setién wanted to take control of the ball. Simeone kept the usual system and bet on Llorente forward to take advantage of his speed and strength on Atlético´s attempts.
The match kept a very high rhythm the whole first half, marked by fast offensive transitions on both sides. Atlético´s approach consisted of holding Barça off through a spider web in the middle so Setién´s players could not advance through the midfield on Atlético´s half. This way, Barça´s first goal had to come through a corner kick taken by Messi that Costa deflected on the first post into the net. 1-0.
The most controversial play came only three minutes later, as the referee called a penalty on Carrasco provoked by Vidal. Costa took it and Ter Stegen saved it, but the VAR ordered to repeat the throw as the German keeper was not touching the goal line with one feet at the moment of the shot. Definitely a ridiculous rule, but a good call if the referee sticks to the regulation. Saúl took the second throw and this time he did not miss and scored the equalizer. 1-1 at halftime.
Controversial plays kept happening in the second half, as it has been the usual on this LaLiga return. First it was through a penalty called on Semedo, as defender Felipe touched the right back inside the box and he fell down. Messi did not miss and he put barça back on track.
However, Atlético´s final equalizer couldn´t come other way but through another penalty, also made by Semedo on Carrasco and that midfielder Saúl took to score. Draw at the penalties game.
Barça returned to be at the edge of the cliff, where they have lived since this new LaLiga, and so they goodbye to the title was close to become a reality unless a sporadic individual play would save them, but that did not happen. Atlético closed every space in defense and they held Barça off from getting any clear chance in the last minutes. This way, Barça loose the title virtually, as Madrid still have to play on Thursday. Atlético sentence Barça and lend a hand to Madrid.