International Soccer

3 things Barcelona finally got right against Atletico Madrid

Barcelona put in a season-best performance on Sunday night at the Estadio Metropolitano, trouncing Atletico Madrid 3-0 on their home turf.

The comprehensive win, courtesy of goals from Joao Felix, Robert Lewandowski and Fermin Lopez, moved Barcelona up to second in the La Liga standings and also extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to ten games.

Bizarrely, that run of form has followed Xavi’s decision to step down from his post at the end of the season – something supporters may be starting to hope he reconsiders given how things are slowly falling into place.

Sunday’s demolition job represented everything good about Barcelona right now, with the following everything they did right against a strong Atletico side.

Robert Lewandowski

Outstanding performance / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Having scored at least 20 goals in each of his last 13 seasons as a professional footballer, it’s fair to say that Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers of the 21st century. So the fact that Barcelona were able to restrict Lewa so much that he scored just two goals in a three-month period between September and December is rather remarkable.

La Blaugrana have found a way to get their star striker back among the goals in recent weeks however, largely because they’ve allowed him to drop off and get more involved with the build-up play.

Due to this offensive freedom he’s been afforded of late, Lewandowski was able to put in a game-winning performance on Sunday evening. His two assists and utterly brilliant goal of his own was a genuine sight to behold.

Barcelona are in with a real chance of making it to the Champions League final if Lewandowski continues to play like this.

Ilkay Gundogan

Best performance of the season? / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

Another golden oldie rolled back the years on Sunday to deliver his best performance since joining Barcelona in the summer.

Playing in a more advanced midfield role than usual, Gundogan was able to link-up brilliantly with Lewandowski throughout the 90 minutes, ghosting past Atletico’s midfield players at will throughout. As we saw time and time again at Manchester City last season, there’s very few better attacking midfielders in world football than an in-form Gundogan.

Joao Felix

Another goal against his parent club / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

33.33% of his Joao Felix’s La Liga goals this season have come against his parent club Atletico Madrid.

That is only two goals, sure, but it exemplifies just how much of a personal vendetta Felix seemingly has against the capital club.

Credit to Xavi for starting him against Atletico once again despite his recent form – Felix hadn’t scored in almost a month prior to Sunday’s game – knowing full well that he’d turn it on at the Estadio Metropolitano.


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