10-man Barcelona ends winless run against Atlético Madrid

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Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 4-2 in the Spanish league despite playing more than 20 minutes with 10 men after Dani Alves was sent off on Sunday.

The result ended Barcelona’s run of five games without a win against Atlético in all competitions and allowed the Catalan club to overtake Diego Simeone’s side for fourth place in the league. Barcelona returned to the Champions League qualifying places for the first time since the third round.

Barcelona conceded early but recovered to a 4-1 lead before Atletico threatened to get back into the game. Luis Suárez, who was playing in front of Barcelona fans at the Camp Nou stadium for the first time since joining Atlético, scored in the 58th minute and Alves was sent off with a straight red card in the 69th minute after a review by video saw him stepping on Yannick Carrasco’s leg. from behind.

Barcelona had not beaten Atlético since a league game in December 2019. It had been 11 consecutive games without defeating either Atlético or Real Madrid in any competition. Atlético hasn’t beaten Barcelona at the Camp Nou since 2006.

Atlético, who paid the price for an unusually dismal performance from their defence, were coming off a league win over Valencia but had lost their previous three matches in all competitions.

Barcelona entered the match one point behind Atlético in the standings. They trail third-place Real Betis by two points and second-place Sevilla by nine points. The Catalan club is 12 points behind league leaders Real Madrid.

“It was an important match and we are happy to have obtained the victory to return to the Champions League places,” said Barcelona defender Ronald Araújo, who scored one of the hosts’ goals.

Both teams started quickly and created scoring chances, but Atlético were the first to get on the scoreboard after Suárez assisted Carrasco’s shot from inside the area in the eighth minute.

Barcelona equalized two minutes later with a superb volley from Jordi Alba from one of the corners in the area, which sent the ball over goalkeeper Jan Oblak after a cross from Alves.

Gavi Páez put the hosts ahead with a header in the 21st after a cross from Adama Traoré, and Araújo added the lead from close range after repelling Gerard Piqué’s header that hit the crossbar.

Alves scored his first goal since returning to Barcelona with a low shot from inside the area in the 49th before Suárez brought Atlético close with a header some 10 minutes later. Suárez did not celebrate after the goal and apologized to the Barcelona fans by joining hands.

Traoré made his debut after returning to Barcelona on loan from Wolverhampton until the end of the season. Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, signed at the end of the transfer market, replaced Traoré at 61.

Ousmane Dembélé, who was included in Xavi Hernández’s squad despite his refusal to sign a new contract or join a new club in the transfer market, remained on the bench.

Daniel Wass and Reinildo Mandava debuted with Atlético.

CELEBRATED VALENCIA

Valencia’s winless streak in the league reached five games in a row after Real Sociedad drew 0-0.

The result kept Sociedad in sixth place with just one win from their last nine league games. The Basque club was coming off a 4-0 home loss to Real Betis in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals.

Valencia dropped to 11th place.

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