MADRID – Former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez made matters worse for his former club when Atletico Madrid took a 2-0 La Liga win over the Catalans at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
First half strikes by Thomas Lemar and Suarez were enough for the champions to secure all three points and increase the pressure on Barca’s beleaguered boss Ronald Koeman.
Barca have won just one game out of the last six in all competitions as the problems at the start of the season show no signs of easing.
“We suffer, I will be honest with you,” said Barca defender Gerard Pique.
“We started well enough, we were brave, but then they created two identical situations and scored twice – when we could have played for three hours without scoring.
“It’s not one problem, there are several. People can see what we’re missing. But we will recover. These are difficult times, many of us have never experienced this before. We want to turn it around, but that is not easy.”
Atletico started the best, coming close via Lemar and Joao Felix from the edge of the box before the Frenchman opened the scoring in the 23rd minute.
Felix fed Suarez, who played a brilliant ball around the corner to send Lemar through and drove his attempt past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Moments later, Suarez missed a glorious opportunity to double the lead when he skewed wide on a one-on-one attempt, but made no mistake on the stroke of half-time after Lemar returned the favor to put him on the tee.
Barça’s best chance of getting back into the game fell to Philippe Coutinho, but the Brazilian’s tame effort was comfortably saved by Jan Oblak.
The win put Atlético level with table toppers Real Madrid, who travel to Barcelona’s city rivals Espanyol on Sunday, with 17 points from eight games.
Barcelona are now ninth with 12 points after having played one game less.
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