La Liga 2017/18: Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona; 5 talking points
A 25-yard screamer, a Luis Suarez late equalizer and some exciting football, Atletico Madrid v Barcelona had plenty to talk about
Atletico Madrid and Barcelona fought it out till the final minute at the Wanda Metropolitano. Diego Simeone's men kept their shape and defended well throughout the game and looked like they could keep Lionel Messi and Barcelona at bay for the entirety of 90 minutes.
Earlier, Saul Niguez opened the scoring for Atletico Madrid with a curling effort from 25 yards out. Atletico, however, lost steam in attack after that and were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure as Barcelona tried relentlessly to find spaces to exploit in the final third.
Valverde's substitutions worked to a great extent and Barcelona got going in the final 20 minutes and Luis Suarez made sure they eked out a point with a brilliant header from a delicious cross by Sergi Roberto.
Lionel Messi got a freekick right outside the box in the very last minute and though the world hoped to see the second instalment of Messi magic in the same week, it was not to be and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Here are 5 talking points from the game.
#5. Barcelona desperately need another creative outlet in midfield
It was all possession and no penetration from Valverde's men for the greater part of the game. La Blaugrana were content to play the ball from wing to wing and lacked the cutting edge to worry Atletico Madrid's defence.
They came knocking often and as soon as Atletico defenders answered the call and got to their tails, they passed the ball back in order to try and rebuild from the back once again. Iniesta and Messi were the only bright sparks for Barcelona in the first half.
The Spanish maestro tried to exert his influence on the game with some neat incisive passing but otherwise, the Barcelona midfield looked pretty clueless in venturing into the defensive third.
To blatantly state it would be a crime of sorts but there is certainly a Coutinho sized gap in the Barcelona midfield.