Laying down what was an actual La Liga marker on Sunday evening, Barcelona picked up what may transform a vital 1-0 victory away at Atletico Madrid.
Watching Actual Madrid endure a shock 2-1 loss away at Villarreal 24 hours prior, Xavi’s facet managed to increase their buffer on the high of the desk to a few factors as Ousmane Dembele clinched a first-half winner right here.
Having fun with what has been a stellar purple patch on both facet of the World Cup break, the Spanish heavyweights additionally piled extra stress onto an Atletico squad who’ve continued to point out a string of inconsistencies this season.
With Ferran Torres and Stefan Savic each proven their very own late purple playing cards after an off-the-ball altercation, followers across the Nou Camp can be excited by what was one other eye-catching efficiency within the capital.
In an actual showdown between two former Spanish champions, we’ve got taken a have a look at the important thing speaking factors from the Estadio Metropolitano.
Barca proceed to fly beneath Xavi
Ultimately ending 13 factors adrift of Los Blancos and reclaiming their home crown final season, few throughout Spain would have anticipated such a stellar rally from Barcelona this time round.
Whereas the Spanish icons may need been coping with some public monetary points over current instances, Xavi’s younger stars have solely continued on a exceptional purple patch on both facet of the World Cup break.
Watching their arch-rivals endure what may very well be a vital slip-up away at Villarreal on Saturday afternoon, followers round Catalonia have been calling on their facet to put down an actual title marker within the capital.
With the temper across the Nou Camp showing to be on the highest it has been in current reminiscence, there isn’t a doubt that Xavi’s facet have their sights set on making extra historical past in 2023.
Though Barca may need needed to accept a 1-1 draw in opposition to Espanyol once they signed off 2022 on New 12 months’s Eve, Sunday’s friends have now claimed 19 factors from simply their final seven La Liga appearances
Going through what’s a Tremendous Cup showdown in opposition to Actual Betis in midweek, Xavi’s males actually couldn’t have wished for a greater morale enhance right here.
Dembele proves his worth
Making the journey to Madrid on Sunday evening unable to name upon attacking talisman Robert Lewandowski, some would have been questioning who would take the function of spearheading Barcelona’s cost.
Whereas there may need as soon as once more been extra hypothesis over current weeks that Dembele may very well be on his manner out of Catalonia through the January switch window, the French worldwide stole of the headlines right here.
Enjoying a vital function as Les Bleus booked their World Cup last ticket final month, the previous Borussia Dortmund starlet has turn into a significant a part of Xavi’s plans on the Nou Camp.
Solely persevering with to achieve a string of reward from Xavi over his stellar shows this season, the 25-year-old has loved a massively spectacular turnaround since placing pen to paper on a brand new deal.
Rubbishing any reviews a couple of potential swap since getting back from the festive break, Dembele hs now recorded 10 objectives and assists in his 16 La Liga outings up to now.
Stress again on Simeone?
Whereas Atletico Madrid may need signed off 2022 with a 2-0 victory at house in opposition to Elche on December twenty ninth, it seems that may need simply been a minor enhance for Diego Simeone’s facet.
Dropping out of the top-four following Sunday’s 1-0 loss on the Estadio Metropolitano, Los Colchoneros look set to face what may very well be an actual uphill wrestle within the New 12 months.
Enduring a public Champions League nightmare this season and with none European competitors on the horizon, there may very well be some rising stress on Simeone’s shoulders.
With the 52-year-old concerned in a fallout with attacking talisman Joao Felix, Atletico have managed to muster only a single La Liga victory from any of their earlier 5 appearances – a run that stems again to October twenty third.
With that woeful spell underlined by shock defeats in opposition to each Mallorca and Cadiz, Sunday’s hosts are determined to attempt to discover some much-needed stability in 2023.
Likewise, claiming only a single top-flight win on the Metropolitano for the reason that begin of October, may Simeone’s 12-year keep be throughout to an finish sooner slightly than later?
Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Molina, Savic, Gimenez, Mandava, Llorente, Koke, Barrios, Carrasco, Griezmann, Felix
Subs: Lemar, Correa, Kondogbia, Reguilon, Morata
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Balde, de Jong, Busquets, Gavi, Dembele, Fati, Pedri
Subs: Alonson, Kessie, Torres, Raphina, Roberto
Objectives: Dembele (22′)
Yellow Playing cards: Atletico Madrid: Molina, Correa – Barcelona: Raphina, Christensen, Araujo
Purple Playing cards: Atletico Madrid: Savic – Barcelona: Torres
Referee: Jose Luis Munuera Montero