Barcelona Big win at a difficult ground

Rafa Casal

Barcelona‘s victory away at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday night is an important result with regard to the race for the title in LaLiga Santander.

Atletico Madrid had a record of four wins and three draws from their opening seven league games at home, and it looked as though they were going to record a fourth home draw of the campaign, only for Lionel Messi to go on and score the only goal of the game in the 86th minute.

As such, Barcelona – reliant on the brilliance of Messi but, perhaps more notably, Marc-Andre ter Stegen – moved up to joint leaders with Real Madrid, only ahead of goal difference but without their head-to-head record taken into account. All of a sudden, the Clasico on December 18 is looking more and more exciting.

The Barcelona dressing room is satisfied with Sunday’s result. All of the players understand that achieving three points at the Wanda is a giant step towards retaining their LaLiga Santander crown, something Sergi Roberto recognised in his post-match interview.

“In matches and stadiums like this, it’s where the league [titles] are [won],” he said.

“We have suffered, but these victories are important and you always learn things.”

Barcelona have created a six-point gap between themselves and a direct rival in Atletico with this win, which puts their place at the top of LaLiga Santander back in their hands.

“There’s still a lot of matches ahead,” Sergi Roberto stated with a sense of caution.

“There’s not just Real Madrid, there are other teams like Sevilla, for example.

“We can’t stop, we have to keep moving forward.”

For Barcelona, the 2019 LaLiga Santander calendar pits the Catalan side against Real Sociedad at the Reale Arena before facing Real Madrid and Alaves at the Camp Nou.

Undoubtedly, the Clasico on December 18 is the game that will have a big impact on how the title race is perceived once 2020 arrives. Until then, both Barcelona and Real Madrid will have to achieve maximum points in order to maintain their title ambitions heading into El Clasico.


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