Atletico Madrid 1-1 Barcelona: Hits and Flops
Ousmane Dembele rescued Barcelona a point with a late leveller against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano as the La Liga giants played out an uncharacteristically dull draw.
With only three shots on target at either end in the entire game, this weekend's biggest clash in the league failed to live up to the billing despite the visitors boasting a lion's share of possession.
Neither team had the urgency to take the game to the other nor the attacking flair to carve out clear-cut chances. Diego Costa struck early in the second half to break the deadlock which supposedly set the Rojiblancos on their way to a victory, but Dembele's late strike at least ensured a frantic finish to an otherwise forgetful clash.
The result leaves Barcelona to continue to take the pole position with 25 points from 13 games, whereas Atletico are just a point behind on second.
Here are the hits and flops from the match:
#1 Hit: Lionel Messi
No goals for him on the night, yet very unsurprisingly, Messi was the best player on the field. He not only assisted Dembele for the equaliser in the dying embers but was peerless throughout 90 minutes with his mazy runs and clinical ball distribution.
The Barcelona ace was the most dangerous player on the field with four efforts at goal, had the most touches on the ball only after Sergio Busquets with 102, and completed 9 of a staggering 16 dribbles as Messi was at his prolific best.
He did have his fair share of brushes with Atletico's Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez who strained every sinew to keep him quiet. But where there's Messi, there's hope.
A prolific scorer against Atletico, he compensated for the lack of one here with an all-important assist by brilliantly picking out Dembele and helping his side to a point.