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Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid: What Were The Main Talking Points As Joao Felix Haunts His Parent Club In Catalonia?

In what was a heavyweight showdown from Catalonia on Sunday night, Barcelona claimed a crucial 1-0 victory against Atletico Madrid as Joao Felix came back to haunt his parent club.

Two sides who have their sights set on mounting another title charge this season, it was Atletico loanee Felix who proved to be the winner as the Portugal international produced a slick finish just before the half-hour mark.

While the reigning Spanish champions might have shown some inconsistencies on either side of November’s international break, Xavi’s side arguably produced a season-best performance here.

Dominating large spells in Catalonia and handling what had been a free-scoring Atletico attack, Sunday’s 1-0 victory means that Barca sit four points adrift of historic rivals Real Madrid.

While Xavi’s side might have produced a stellar display on home soil, Diego Simeone’s camp will be frustrated after missing out on what they had billed as a potential opportunity outside of the capital.

Although Atletico might have arrived in Catalonia enjoying a stellar purple patch, Sunday’s guests failed to find any real fluidity and they have now lost each of their last three La Liga trips to Catalonia.

With all eyes from across Spain falling on the Estadio Olimpico, we have taken a look at the key talking points.

Barcelona claim a heavyweight scalp in Catalonia

While Barcelona might have made real history last season as they got their hands on a first La Liga crown since 2019, Xavi’s side are more than aware that they face a real uphill battle to keep hold of their domestic title this time around.

Nevertheless, although the Spanish icons might have marked their return from November’s international break with a sluggish 1-1 stalemate against Rayo Vallecano, Sunday’s hosts have come roaring back over the past few days.

Eventually cruising their way to the Champions League knockout stage in midweek thanks to a 2-1 victory against Porto, Barcelona certainly kept up that momentum here.

More then deserving of maximum points on Sunday night and collecting a pair of heavyweight scalps, Xavi’s side still find themselves within touching distance of Real Madrid.

Suffering just a single La Liga defeat from their first 15 appearances this season and heading into a stacked winter schedule with a recent flurry, Barca will also take plenty of positives from what has quickly become a remarkable purple patch in Catalonia.

Atletico miss out on a golden opportunity

Match Barcelona in cruising their way to the Champions League knockout stage this season, Atletico Madrid have continued to receive a string of plaudits from across the continent this season.

With their sights set on mounting a genuine title charge this year and arriving in Catalonia with the mood in their camp at a red-hot high, Simeone was clearly frustrated by a flat performance on Sunday night.

Really gaining a reputation for their free-scoring performances on either side of November’s international break, Sunday’s guests had won each of their previous four appearances across all competitions by an aggregate score of 13-2.

However, now losing each of their last three La Liga trips to the reigning Spanish champions, Simeone’s squad lacked any real clinical edge and they now find themselves sat seven points adrift of their bitter local rivals.

Drawing their first domestic blank since back on September 16th, Atletico must dust themselves down quickly if they are to keep themselves in the title race.

It was always going to be Felix

Allowed to feature against his parent club on Sunday night, it almost seemed written in the stars that Felix would come back to haunt Atletico here.

While there might be continued speculation over Robert Lewandowski’s future as the ex-Bayern Munich striker has now failed to find the net in 10 of his last 11 appearances, Felix has certainly done a stellar job of spearheading Xavi’s charge.

Making a loan switch from Atletico over the summer after making it clear that his only aim was to force through a move to Barca, it is extremely hard to see how Felix can return back to the Spanish capital at the end of the season.

With the Portugal international desperate to complete a permanent move to Catalonia, the one-time Benfica starlet has now found the net in back-to-back appearances over the past few days.

Quickly becoming a fan favourite and shockingly celebrating his first half winner here, Felix has certainly come roaring back since his Chelsea struggles last season.

Match Report

Barcelona: Pena, Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Cancelo, De Jong, Gundogan, Pedri, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Felix

Subs: Torres, Gamal, Lopez

Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Molina, Witsel, Gimenez, Hermoso, Riquelme, De Paul, Koke, Llorente, Griezmann, Morata

Subs: Azpilicueta, Saul, Depay, Correa, Lino

Goals: Felix (28’)

Yellow Cards: Barcelona: Araujo, Cancelo, De Jong, Felix, Torres – Atletico Madrid: Gimenez, Witsel, Koke, Azpilicueta

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Jose María Sánchez Martinez

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