Atletico Madrid claimed their first La Liga victory against Barcelona in more than a decade as Yannick Carrasco capitalized on a blunder by Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to secure a 1-0 victory over an empty Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday .
Belgian winger Carrasco broke the deadlock at the end of the first half, pulling a stylish rear wheel to kick the ball between Ter Stegen’s legs and keep his cool in front of goal after the German charged outside his zone.
Lionel Messi had won the game last season with a late solo goal, but the Barca captain had one game to forget this time around, creating very little danger and appearing hesitant in front of goal.
Ex-Barca’s Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann missed the goal every half, while defender Clément Lenglet had his best chance when, unscored, he could only send his head into the arms of the goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
The victory took Atletico to second in the table, tied with 20 points with leaders Real Sociedad, while Barca are in 10th place with 11 points after a third loss in eight league games under Ronald Koeman.
“A team like Barca cannot afford to concede a goal like this,” said the Dutchman.
“It was our fault, it’s not good and we can’t let something like this happen again.”
The Catalans’ pain was made worse by the sight of defender Gerard Pique limping off the pitch with a suspected knee injury after a challenge from Angel Correa.
Barca players had come for the match dressed in t-shirts in tribute to their striking teenage sensation Ansu Fati who recently had knee surgery and were also missing anchor midfielder Sergio Busquets, a veteran of the match .
Atletico lacked co-top scorer Luis Suarez, who was deprived of a reunion with his former team after testing positive for COVID-19, while midfielders Hector Herrera and Lucas Torreira were also unavailable but they well deserved their victory.
Marcos Llorente almost gave Atletico an early lead when his shot fell off the bar, as it took a brilliant save from Ter Stegen to prevent a vicious ranged strike from Saul Niguez.
With Barca having their chances of stabilizing, Atletico comfortably saw the win and coach Diego Simeone threw a punch when the whistle came signaling his first league win against Barca since he took charge of Atletico in 2011.
“It was our turn to win today, but that won’t change our goals,” said the coach.
“We knew exactly how we had to play and that we had to work as hard in attack as in defense.”