Barcelona stars Atlético come to blows in an intense La Liga clash; Both are expelled. Clock | Football News –

Barcelona’s La Liga title bid faced a tough test on Sunday when they took on Atletico Madrid in an away clash at the Wanda Metropolitano. Without their goalscoring striker Robert Lewandowski, Barca had no guarantee of goals, but it was Ousmane Dembele’s first-half strike that proved to be enough as the Catalans secured a 1-0 victory. However, minutes before the final whistle, Barcelona’s Ferran Torres and Atlético’s Stefan Savic became involved in an ugly battle on the pitch. The referee had no qualms about sending off both players.

Devoid of suspended top scorer Robert Lewandowski, Xavi selected Ansu Fati up front instead, but it was Dembele who made the difference, finishing off a clever move on 22 minutes.

Atlético turned up the pressure, with the superb Ronald Araujo clearing Antoine Griezmann’s line on death, but Diego Simeone’s side could not find an equalizer.

Both teams finished with 10 men after Ferran Torres and Stefan Savic were sent off for fighting each other on the ground as tempers soured.

“We are very happy, we knew it was a difficult place to go, that Real Madrid had made a slip up and it was an opportunity we had to take advantage of,” veteran Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets told DAZN.

“Although they came out strong in the second half, we knew how to control the game. In the end we suffered, but these are three very good points”.

With the win, Barcelona have strengthened their position at the top of the Spanish league table. With 41 points from 16 games, Barcelona is 3 points ahead of its bitter rival, Real Madrid.

With AFP inputs

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