LaLiga 2019/2020: Atletico Madrid 0-1 Barcelona - 5 Talking Points
Atletico Madrid hosted Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano in what was the crunch clash of matchday 15 in LaLiga and the Catalans ran out 1-0 winners in a very tense encounter.
Both teams have regularly contested for the league title in recent years and there was evidence of this growing rivalry, as the two sides went all out for the jugular and produced an exhilarating end-to-end encounter.
Real Madrid had moved posted a hard-fought 2-1 victory away at Alaves on Saturday to move temporarily top of the table, while Sevilla's 1-0 win over Leganes earlier on Sunday meant that Barcelona entered the clash with Atletico in third place and needed a victory to get back on track.
For their part, it has been a bumper few weeks for Atletico Madrid and they have been far from their efficient best, with injuries and a loss of form affecting Diego Simeone's men and piling the pressure on the capital side.
As it happened, Barcelona did enough to squeeze out a 1-0 victory to move joint-top with Real Madrid and send a statement of intent to the rest of the league over their seriousness to defend the title and with the first leg of the El Clasico on the horizon, the victory takes on extra significance for Ernesto Valverde.
Here, we shall be highlighting five talking points from the gripping encounter at the Wanda Metropolitano.
#5 Diego Simeone's poor record against Barcelona continues
Ever since arriving Atletico Madrid in 2011, Diego Simeone deserves immense praise for his transformation of the club and his performances in helping the side go from an average Spanish side into one of Europe's heavyweights ranks as one of the best managerial feats in history.
His tactical acumen is not in doubt and he has regularly gotten the better of most managers he has faced during his career, but one team that has given the 49-year-old countless sleepless nights has been Barcelona.
Although he has gotten the better of the Catalans in Europe, knocking them out of the 2014 and 2016 Champions League campaigns, domestically, it has been a different story and Simeone has indeed found Barcelona a very hard nut to crack in LaLiga.
It might be hard to believe, but the Argentine manager is yet to taste victory in LaLiga against the Blaugrana since arriving at the Atletico dugout eight years ago.
In that time, he has come up against Barcelona 15 times in the league, losing 10 and drawing just five.
The latest setback means that Simeone has now gone 16 LaLiga matches without getting a victory against Barcelona and he would have to wait until at least April 2020 to get another chance to reverse this unwanted record.