Efforts by Spanish football giant, Barcelona, climb the ladder on the 2020/2021 league table have suffered a major setback after the team recorded its third defeat at Atletico Madrid, losing 1-0.
The team, after over one week break, returned to action away at Atletico Madrid and was shy at the front of goal as well as unable to protect its post from conceding goal.
Barcelona goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, extraordinary error gifted Atletico Madrid the decisive goal as they defeated Barcelona 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Ter Stegen – making just his third Blaugrana appearance in all competitions since returning from a knee injury – rashly set off in pursuit of the ball near the halfway line and was beaten by Carrasco, who kept his cool to find the net.
Saturday’s hard-fought contest was settled by a remarkable Yannick Carrasco strike in the third minute of first-half stoppage time, ending Atleti’s 20-match winless run against Barca in LaLiga.
The early goal conceded was a setback for Barca and could not recover from it as they succumbed to a third league defeat of the season to remain 10th, even as it lost one of the team reliable defender, Gerard Pique, to a knee injury.
With the injury sustained by the Spanish defender, the teething problems of Ronald Koeman’s tutored team show no sign of easing.
The visitors had held their own in a lively start that saw Antoine Griezmann stab his volley just over before Ter Stegen dived away to his right to make a smart save from Saul Niguez’s 20-yard drive.
Marcos Llorente came closest to an early breakthrough but blasted against the crossbar.
Jordi Alba interrupted a subsequent lull in proceedings with a sublime pass between Kieran Trippier’s legs to send Lionel Messi through, yet he shot too close to Jan Oblak from a tight angle.
A nutmeg at the other end proved far more costly on the stroke of half-time, however, as Carrasco nudged the ball beyond Ter Stegen, who had inexplicably charged 40 yards from his goal to leave the Atletico winger with a straightforward finish into an empty net.