A late Ousmane Dembele strike was enough to salvage a point for Barcelona as they drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The game began a very tense affair with Barcelona enjoying the majority of the possession, however neither keeper was tested throughout the first half with both sides failing to notch a shot on target, struggling to create any clear cut opportunities.
The second half began much like the first half with both sides enjoying plenty of possession in the middle of the park but they struggled to breakdown each other's defences. However, just minutes after feeling they should've had a penalty which was waived away, Atletico took the lead.
An inviting corner from Antoine Griezmann found the head of Diego Costa, who managed to direct his header on target with the ball going straight through the gloves of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and into the back of the net. Just when it looked as though the home side would hang on, they were pegged back late on by Barcelona.
Lionel Messi slipped through substitute Dembele, who coolly slotted home in the final minute of normal time to earn his side a valuable point with a 1-1 draw. Here's a breakdown of the night's events:
Key Talking Point
It looked as though Atletico were on their way to a famous victory over their bitter rivals, unfortunately they were pegged back in the final minutes of the game. They'd dealt with everything Barca had thrown at them all game, however substitute Dembele grabbed a late equaliser which broke the home side's hearts.
It was always going to be tough for them going up against the top scorers in La Liga so far this season, and they absorbed all their pressure and limited the amount of chances Barca had.
Unfortunately they couldn't hang on to the lead and instead of leapfrogging Barcelona in La Liga standings, they continue to trail their rival.
Starting XI: Oblak (6); Luis (6), Hernandez (7), Savic (6), Arias (7); Lemar (7), Saul (6), Rodri (7), Koke (7); Costa (8), Griezmann (7).
Substitutes: Vitolo (6), Correa (6).
STAR MAN - On a night where both sides enjoyed plenty of possession, it was Costa who left his mark on the game for Atletico. He was a nuisance for the Barcelona defence all night and on the 77th minute mark, he finally got his first La Liga goal of the season at the 10th game of asking.
Diego Costa choose the best game to end his goal drought.— JOSEFU (@Kayceejay125) November 24, 2018
Diego Costa back to Atletico is the best signing of the last year in global football. Completely transformed them from a side out of the CL early due to being unable to score against Qarabag to being title challengers again in the toughest league to win in Europe and the world.— Ed (@Gibbe84) November 24, 2018
He brilliantly directed his header on target whilst off balance from Griezmann's corner to give his side a vital lead, and whilst it wasn't enough for the win, he'll be delighted to get the monkey off his back and he can be very pleased with his work on the night.
WORST PLAYER - Filipe Luis had a very quiet game down the left hand side. With most of the play coming from the middle of the park, the Brazilian international was largely ineffective throughout the game.
He too will be disappointed his side couldn't hang on to the win, and you have to say he'll be thinking he could've done more for his team on the night as they missed a golden opportunity to gain what would've been a valuable three points.
Key Talking Point
It was far from Barcelona's best performance of the season, however they'll certainly be the happier of the two sides. Heading into the game just one point clear of their opponents at the top of the league, it was always going to be a tense affair, and at one point it looked as though the two teams wouldn't be separated.
However after going behind, Barca responded like champions do, with some neat play setting up the substitute Dembele who slotted home to earn a valuable point. The draw means they remain top of the league and they keep their unbeaten start to the league season in tact.
There will still be plenty of Barcelona to work on in the coming weeks as on any other day they could easily have lost the game, however they've escaped with a point and they'll be delighted with the outcome.
Starting XI: ter Stegen (6); Alba (6), Umtiti (6), Pique (7), Semedo (7); Vidal (6), Arthur (6), Busquets (8), Roberto (6); Suarez (6), Messi (8).
Substitutes: Rafinha (6), Dembele (8), Malcolm (6).
STAR MAN - In a game which was dominated by possession, Sergio Busquets bossed the midfield the entire game. We all know what we get with the Spaniard, neat passages of passing and a real anchor in the midfield which he proved to be on the night - playing his 500th game for Barcelona.
Busquets has been running this show— Leo (@LaMasiaGrad) November 24, 2018
Busquets 20/10— 5-1 (@Busiismo) November 24, 2018
Busquets is everywhere— 𝕾𝖙𝖊𝖛𝖊 Barça (@Stevecaresx) November 24, 2018
He played a big part in taming an Atletico side who were hot on Barca's tails heading into the game, and did just what his team needed to do to help earn a valuable point away from home at statistically one of the toughest places to travel too in European football.
WORST PLAYER - Luis Suarez had a very frustrating night. He's been on red hot form to start the season and has arguably been Barcelona's best player so far, but he will be frustrated having not done more for his team on the night.
It was always going to be difficult coming up against La Liga's best defensive team who have only conceded nine goals all season, however these are the game Suarez usually thrives under, but not on this occasion.
After the disappointing result, Atletico Madrid will now turn their attention to midweek when they'll have the chance to secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League when they face Monaco on Wednesday night.
As for Barcelona, they've already secured their qualification into the knockout stages and will therefore have no pressure on them when they travel to Eindhoven to face PSV also on Wednesday night.