Joao Felix gets revenge and helps Barcelona cruise past Atletico Madrid

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Robert Lewandowski and Joao Felix were the stars as Barcelona secured a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in a flattering scoreline that also saw their coach, Xavi, sent off.

The result means Barcelona climb up to second in LaLiga, ahead of Girona and they now trail Real Madrid by eight points with 30 to play for. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, drop out of the UEFA Champions League places after Athletic Club won on Saturday.

Juanjo MartnEFE

In the sixth minute, Atletico Madrid thought they won a penalty through Alvaro Morata, but Jules Kounde was reprieved as the forward was called offside meaning any foul after didn’t matter.

Diego Simeone’s side then survived a penalty claim in front of the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano crowd in the 15th minute when Kounde thought he was fouled, before rushing back to deny Nahuel Molina.

But Barcelona grew into the game, and they had their first big chance in the 38th minute, punishing the home side to full effect.

Atletico Madrid repelled their first attack, but Ilkay Gundogan picked up the ball and found Lewandowski, who then squared a cross for a deft finish past Jan Oblak by Felix – playing against his parent club – to give Xavi’s men the lead of the tie.

Then they doubled their lead in the 47th minute when Raphinha took advantage of a poor Rodrigo De Paul pass, playing Lewandowski through, and the legendary forward slammed the ball across goal into the far corner to make it 2-0.

ANGEL RIVEROMARCA

Finally, Barcelona killed the tie off as Lewandowski turned provider. This time the Pole floated a cross over the box and Fermin powered a header past Oblak in the 65th minute to make it 3-0. Game over.

Molina was then sent off in the 92nd minute for fouling Vitor Roque as he bore down on goal, preventing a penalty but getting himself sent off with seconds remaining.

Despite the scoreline, it wasn’t a game of many chances. Barcelona recorded nine shots and were very lethal, whilst Atletico Madrid accumulated shots in volume but of little value as just five of their 12 were taken within 18 yards.

Xavi sent off for mouthing off

In a tense game that, if they had lost, would have seen Barcelona lead Atletico Madrid by just three points, Xavi managed to get himself sent off.

Two moments of dissent to the officials, bizarrely after they just scored, saw the legendary ex-soccer play issued his marching orders when he was flashed the red card.



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