Barcelona 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Match Reports, Updated:
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Title hopefuls Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could not make the most of Real Madrid's woe as they played out a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp
Both managers started with their strongest available XIs and knew a victory would help them take advantage of leaders Real's surprise 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal earlier in the night.
Barca settled the better of the teams; dominating the opening stages as Jan Oblak saved well from Lionel Messi. Atleti did not shy away though, with Yannick Ferreira Carrasco forcing a block from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The Blaugrana did regain the upper hand however, with Neymar most notably curling just wide and the pressure told on 41 minutes, when Ivan Rakitic glanced home Andres Iniesta's mesmeric cross to open the scoring.
Soon after the interval Barcelona boss Luis Enrique received two significant blows as he was first forced to withdraw Sergio Busquets, before seeing Lionel Messi limp off with what appeared to be a groin problem.
That gave Los Colchoneros a boost and they grabbed an equaliser just after the hour when Fernando Torres flicked on to fellow substitute Angel Correa, who made the most of Javier Mascherano's slip to score.
Things soon turned a bit feisty, with neither team wanting to give any edge. Barca were the main victims of the increased intensity but in the absence of Messi, both Luis Suarez and Neymar disappointed with their finishing.
Despite the Blaugrana pushing, they rarely troubled Oblak and it was Ter Stegen who was arguably the hero for Barca when he produced an acrobatic save from Diego Godin's header in the closing minutes.
In the end the teams had to settle for a deserved point, from what could transpire to be the first of many meetings between the pair this season.