Luis Enrique’s Barcelona managed to snatch the victory from 10-men Atletico Madrid in the Champions League first leg of the Quarter-finals. Torres opened the scoring for the Red and Whites but was foolishly sent off in the first half. Luis Suarez scored the brace for Barcelona and the game ended 2-1 at Camp Nou.
There were a lot of controversies in the game as Torres was sent off in just 10 just minutes after scoring the goal. The red card was the turning point in the game as after that, the match swung in Barcelona’s favour completely.
After the game, the German Referee was the talking point in the analysis and Torres slammed the referee by saying that the referee was not at the level of a Champions League quarter-final.
Though he received a red card, he achieved an honour as he became the third player to score against Barcelona in the Champions League with 2 different clubs.
As the team was a man down, they were unable to repel the waves of Barcelona’s attack and was eventually beaten through the goals of Luis Suarez who himself was a lucky man to remain on the pitch after an apparent kick on Juanfran.
Torres stated: “The sending off is totally unjust and changed the game.”
“ Barcelona are protected. When you play against them you realise that they are a very powerful club.”
“You realise the fear when Barcelona could get knocked out. It would hurt UEFA a lot.”
The second leg is scheduled at Vicente Calderon and Simeone will be without their goalscorer Fernando Torres and his left back Filipe Luís as the duo will be banned for the game. Barcelona will be trying to replicate their first-half result and on the other hand, Atletico Madrid will be looking to seek their revenge of the first leg.
Here is the Predicted Lineup for FC Barcelona that could face Atletico in their second leg-
Goalkeeper: Marc Ter-Stegen-
Despite having Bravo in their squad, Enrique prefers this young German player to start in the Champions League fixtures. In his last game, he was not at all tested, much especially in the second half of the game. He was comparatively busier in the first half where he made a couple of good saves and denied Griezmann but was unable to stop the shot from Torres which beat him through his legs and gave away a crucial away goal.
Defenders: Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba-
After a poor El Clasico game, he gave a master class performance in the Atletico’s game. Played a major role in both the goals. Defensively he wasn’t tested much but made a mark on the game offensively. Pique and Mascherano, on the other hand, had a tough first half in the game but as their opponents were down to ten men, they didn’t had much work to do in their department. Alba had some struggles in the defence, but compared to his show in the El Clasico he showed massive improvements. Barcelona were constantly attacking with both of their fullbacks and were trying to create a nuisance for Atletico’s defense.
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Turan-
Busquets gave a very strong defensive performance against Atletico Madrid in their last Champions League fixture and is a pivot player in Enrique’s master plan. Rakitic is the new midfield sensation for the club as he is following the footsteps of Xavi to match the skills of Iniesta and they both are doing a great job. He was playing more of an attacking role to give Messi some space in the field. He was replaced by Rafinha after an hour but the next match will be a decisive contest so the manager cannot take a risk to leave him out. The ex-Atletico Madrid player Arda Turan is likely to join Rakitic in the midfield trio behind the MSN, while Iniesta who started the game on the bench against Sociedad on the weekend, will continue to be.
Attack: Messi, Suarez Neymar-
The obvious attacking option for Barcelona. Messi had a frustrating game against their rivals as he wasn’t able to score any goal but, he managed to get off some good shots- but with no success. Luis Suarez scored the 2 goals for the team and will be a key figure in their next Champions League fixture as well. Neymar missed a great headed chance last time out, but he managed to fire some shots to trouble Atletico’s goalkeeper but sadly, he struck the post.