Barcelona v Atletico: Is there a more entertaining fixture?

September 20, 2009

You are guaranteed goals when Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid each season, and Saturday’s encounter at the Nou Camp was no exception as the European champions romped to a 5-2 victory.

Barca were 4-0 up within 41 minutes after goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Daniel Alves and Seydou Keita, before Atletico pulled one back through Sergio Aguero.

Diego Forlan made it 4-2 late on but any thoughts of a late rally disappeared when an inspired Messi grabbed his second at the end.

Whereas most managers think Rorke’s Drift or the Alamo when they go the Nou Camp, Atletico coach Abel Resino went to trade blows with Barca, lining up five attacking players ahead of one holding midfielder.

Their goal was guarded by reserve keeper Roberto, who was making only his second first-team appearance – the first having been four years ago.

Xavi has described Pep Guardiola as a football romantic for his attacking ideals, and perhaps Resino falls into the same category. But his ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ perhaps owed more to history than good sense.

He could have looked back to their previous meeting at the Calderon last February. When his side fell two goals behind he threw caution to the wind, and the team came back to win 4-3 with a last minute goal from Aguero.

Recent meetings have been littered with goals.

In January, Barca knocked Atletico out of the King’s Cup 5-2 on aggregate, and at the Nou Camp for the first meeting of last season Barcelona trounced Javier Aguirre’s team 6-1.

Two years ago, it was a similar story. Ronaldinho scored his last ever goal for Barcelona with a spectacular overhead kick at the Calderon only for Atletico to storm back and win 4-2. At the Nou Camp, Barca ran out 3-0 winners.

Three years ago, Barcelona smashed six past Atletico without reply in the Calderon after having drawn 1-1 earlier in the season.

Four years ago, Fernando Torres scored three as Atletico did the double over the eventual league and European champions with 2-1 and 3-1 victories.

Anyone got tickets for Barcelona’s visit to the Calderon in February?

PHOTO: Barcelona’s Leo Messi (L) is tackled by Atletico Madrid’s Pablo Ibanez during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona September 19, 2009. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino


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I remember some cracking matches between Liverpool and Newcastle in the 90s but I can’t think of any fixture that so consistently produces a goalfest.It was the perfect way for Messi to celebrate the new contract that makes him the world’s highest-paid player. The little jink of the hips that bamboozled the Atleti keeper for his first goal was yet more evidence of his genius.

Posted by Iain | Report as abusive

the little jink he did for his first goal reminded me of a video of george best i saw when he did the same thing coming in from the right and made the keeper throw himself on the floor with just a nod of his head, messi has the potential to become the worlds greatest player being just 22/23 and he has the right attitude that so many of the greats didnt maradona, best, etc. also i believe he has already surpassed pele as he spent his whole career in mediocre leagues only showing how good he was at international level, messi has already won 2 champions leagues and not to mention the treble last season which he was such a massive part of getting over 100 goals between him henry and eto’o, i really hope he stays at barca his whole career and they go on to dominate spanish and european football for the next 10 years

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Posted by “Each friend represents a world in us, a world..” -Anais Nin | Love and Friendship Quotes | Report as abusive

So Messi has “already surpassed” Pele? Get real. Pele scored almost a goal a game for both club and country. Those who say the Brazilian league is weak forget that the same league provided almost all of the squads that won 3 out of 5 World Cups. I have no doubt that Messi will be comparable with Pele, Maradona and Best in years to come as he’s a gifted individual, but it’s a bit early to say he’s the best ever.

Posted by Sean | Report as abusive

messi hasn’t proved anything on the international level nor has ronaldo. plz peeps comparissons with pele maradona best way to premature. players today are no where near as good as the all time greats.

Posted by mosh | Report as abusive