Atlético Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-0 on Saturday in the Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga.
The first-half goals from Thomas Lemar and Luis Suarez saw Rojiblancos beat Blaugrana for the second time in a row in the home league after beating 1-0 in the same match last year.
The defending Spanish champions were the better team from start to finish, constantly catching up with their visitors and also creating better chances.
It took a while, but Atletico kept going in the 23rd minute after an attack from Lemar, who then became provider for Suarez when the former Barcelona ace gave up his first ever attack against them.
The score could easily have been more if the Uruguayan had been more clinical with his chance earlier and if Joao Felix hadn’t fired a good chance directly at Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
There were few clear chances for Barcelona, but the best fell to Philippe Coutinho. But he made a mess of it by shooting straight into Jan Oblak’s embrace.
With Ronald Koeman watching from the stands it was yet another disappointing performance on his part. It only served to increase the pressure on the beleaguered manager.
Atletico, meanwhile, showed signs of the team running to the La Liga title last season. With this result, they are now level with city rivals Real Madrid, who will be in action on Sunday.
Here are the hits and flops of the match:
Hit: Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
Luis Suarez, who came up against his former side for the second time since his infamous move last year, knew this would be a special occasion and he marked the same with a goal.
After dragging his shot wide of the post midway through the first stanza, El Pistolero found another chance after Lemar sent the ball to him on the edge of the D.
After sprinting a few meters forward with the ball, he adjusted and threw the ball powerfully past the unfortunate Ter Stegen into the far post, leaving Gerard Pique stranded on the goal line.
It was only his fourth top attack of the season, but suffice to say the most special of them all, and yet he didn’t celebrate and closed his hands with the watching Barcelona supporters in an apologetic gesture.
Flop: Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Suffice it to say that Coutinho ruined it again with a subpar performance. While his passing was good, his attacking involvement was close to zero, and to make matters worse, he even missed an excellent chance in the second half.
Gavi hit Atletico at the break, then squared the ball to Coutinho, who was completely unmarked near the area. He took a moment to take the shot and when he finally let go, he shot straight at Jan Oblak, despite having much of the target in front of him.
A missed opportunity.