Ousmane Dembele came off the bench to snatch a point for Barcelona as the La Liga leaders drew 1-1 with rivals Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
Barcelona came from a goal behind to hold Atletico Madrid to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night, courtesy of a late goal from substitute Ousmane Dembele.
It was a cagey affair for most of the first period, with Barcelona enjoying majority of the possession, but neither team failed to work the opposition keeper. Things began pretty much the same way after the break, with both Barca and Atletico struggling to break each other’s defences, until Diego Costa headed home an Antoine Griezmann’s delivery to make it 1-0 in the 77th minute.
And just when it seemed like Diego Simeone’s men would hold on for a win, Dembele latched on to a Lionel Messi pass to stab home a 90th minute equalizer to salvage a point for the Catalans.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 24, 2018
The win meant Ernesto Valverde’s side remain at the top of the La Liga standings, although third-placed Sevilla, who are a just two points below, do have a match in hand. Here’s how the Catalans fared on the night against Los Rojiblancos;
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
The German international had very little to do throughout the match, but conceded with the first shot on target. Could have come out to claim the corner and when he did not, should have done better to stop Costa’s header. Distribution on point as always.
Nelson Semedo: 5.5/10
Making a rare start for the Catalans, the Portuguese international looked like someone who hadn’t been playing regularly. Was nervy at the back and looked to play it safe each time he was on the ball, rather than drive forward at pace. Needs a run of games to build confidence.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
The former Spain international has been inconsistent this season, but stepped up when it mattered on Saturday night. Was alert to the threat of Costa and made a crucial clearance when the former Chelsea man looked set to pull the trigger in the second half.
Samuel Umtiti: 5.5/10
Back into the team for the first time since September, the Frenchman looked scratchy and showed signs of ring rust at times. Lost possession to Griezmann in first half that almost led to a goal. Involved in a battle with Costa all night and was booked for a particular fracas that kicked off in the second period.
Jordi Alba: 6/10
The Spanish international did the defensive side of things well. But, he lacked the usual drive and penetration going forward down the left flank as he looked to stay back and help out against the threat of Griezmann.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
Making his 500th appearance for the Blaugrana, the Spaniard was cool as a cucumber in the centre of the park, where most of the action took place during the game. A nutmeg on Costa in the first half epitomized his calmness and composure. Helped Barcelona control possession, although he did lose the ball on a couple of occasions.
Sergi Roberto: 5/10
Handed a start in the midfield, the Spaniard looked to link up with Semedo and Lionel Messi in the right channel, but to little effect. Taken off with a hamstring problem towards the end of the first period.
Arthur Melo: 6.5/10
The Brazilian international displayed good sharpness to beat Atletico’s press and keep things ticking for the Catalans in the first period. Played it simple, without much fuss, but lacked the incision needed to carve out openings against a tight defensive unit.
Arturo Vidal: 6/10
Stepping into the team in place of the suspended Ivan Rakitic, the Chilean added a sense of steeliness and bite in the middle of the park, without really standing out on the night. Pressed well, kept things moving, but did not have the quality to open up the Atleti defence. Withdrawn late on as Valverde pressed for an equalizer.
Lionel Messi: 6.5/10
The little maestro wasn’t anywhere close to his best on Saturday night, with Atletico keeping a close watch on him. Did cause a few problems though, before laying on the assist for Dembele’s equalizer late in the game.
Luis Suarez: 4.5/10
The Uruguayan international’s form seems to have suffered in the last two games as he spent most of the game against the Rojiblancos on the periphery. Cut a frustrated figure as very little chances came his way on Saturday night.
Half-time substitute for Roberto. Started brightly, but seemed to have picked up a problem that limited his impact. Was beaten in the air by Costa for the goal.
Ousmane Dembele: 7/10
Came on to replace Arthur soon after Atletico had opened the scoring. Was bright from the outset and rescued a point for his team, showing what he is capable of, after what has been a difficult few weeks.
Thrown on in place of Vidal for the last five minutes as Barcelona chased the equalizer. Lively.