Barcelona continued their winning start with a 2-1 victory over title contenders Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.
Barcelona came from behind to win the game, which more or less came to life in the second half, as Fernando Torres, Neymar and Lionel Messi registered a goal each. Despite ridden with various injury problems Barcelona managed to grab the win at one of the toughest venues against one of the top teams in La Liga. The away side were without key players such as Claudio Bravo, Dani Alves and Gerard Pique.
With a depleted squad list, Enrique still succeeded in winning another three points to maintain his perfect start to the league.
Here are three talking points from the game.
No surprise as Leo Messi stands out
Lionel Messi may have started on the bench, but the Argentine yet again proved to be the difference maker as he scored the winner 77 minutes into the game. The 28-year old became a father to his second son and hence, missed a training session a day before the game. As a result Rafinha started ahead of the four-time Ballon da Or winner. However, after coming into the game, the forward stole the show as he proved to be too hot to handle for the Atletico defenders. After Messi entered the game, Barcelona upped their performance by a level or two and chances after chances were being created. It was only a matter of time for Messi to find the back of the net as a brilliant build-up saw the Argentine scoring past Oblak for the winner.
Torres steps up but Martinez disappoints
Home-grown forward Fernando Torres must be loving life after he returned to his boyhood club last January. The Spaniard probably was the best player for the hosts and gave the Barcelona defenders many a reason to remain alert. The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker registered six shots on target and put in a fine display in the 61 minutes that he spent on the pitch. Torres broke the deadlock early in the second half and even though it did not last, he gave the Atletico supporters a reason to believe they could win the game. However, the forwarda s goal was negated by a strike from Neymar just few minutes after the opener.
On the other hand, it was a bad day in the office for new signing Jackson Martinez. The Colombian could hardly emulate his counterparta s performance and failed to make an impact coming on as a sub. The forward had one good chance to score the equaliser but his weak shot was saved comfortably by Ter Stegen. All in all, it hasna t been a great start to the Colombiana s La Liga career.
Atletico fail to beat Barcelona, yet again
Atletico last managed to beat Barcelona in 2014, in the UEFA Champions League quarter final which they ended as the runners-up. Since then, Atletico have failed to outscore the Catalans in as many as six matches. If the Rojiblancos are hoping to challenge the defending champions to the title this season, they need to find a formula to beat last seasona s treble winners. Atletico have recently been able to beat their neighbours and fierce rivals, Real Madrid, quite a few times, sometimes too easily as well. However, Diego Simeonea s side seems to have no answer to the brilliance of Spaina s other giantsa Barcelona.