Barcelona 4-1 Atlético Madrid: Win Gives Barcelona Huge Lead in La Liga
Barcelona vs. Atletico Madrid
First Place vs. Second Place
Messi vs. Falcao
Barcelona 4-1 Atletico Madrid
Thanks so much for joining my live coverage of this match. Messi scored two goals to Falcao's one, but they were pretty even throughout the match and Messi's second was on a platter.
Stay tuned for Rob Train's review of this match.
That's it. The match is over and maybe La Liga is as well.
Barcelona win by three goals and now have a nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid as well as 13 over Real Madrid.
La Blaugrana are on track to break Madrid's 100-point record made last season and may have the title wrapped up before the new year.
More on the goal
Messi gets his sixth-straight brace, but this was was gift wrapped for him.
Diego Godin makes a rare mistake as he mixes up duties with Miranda at the back.
He takes a loose ball with Messi pressing, but rather than clearing he tries to back-heel it away and, needless to say, Messi takes advantage.
The score is now 4-1 and Atleti will lose their third game of the season.
87'—Atletico win a late corner here and have a decent chance of getting another goal, but the ball is sent in and then falls weakly to Valdes.
85'—Vilanova protects Adriano
Barcelona's first scorer looked to tweak his hamstring and is taken off for Dani Alves to prevent risking further injury.
The Camp Nou chanting "We love you, Mourinho stay!"— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) December 16, 2012
80'—Courtois looks mighty good here.
Iniesta is given a bit too much room at the top of the box and shoots, but the Beligan keeper saved the ball after a deflection sends him to ground early.
His makes the stop with his feet and then quickly pops up to smother the ball.
David Villa will now play the last 10 minutes as he comes on for Pedro.
Villa will try and make an impact despite coming on when the game is out of reach and Barca are threatening less ardently.
Vilanova makes his first change here and it's to bring Thiago on for Sanchez.
Chances are that Iniesta will be the more forward player now with Pedro shifting to the right side.
With Thiago on, the Barca coach is clearly trying to close out. The youngster playing with Xavi and Busquets is about as perfect a closing midfield as it can get.
73'—The pace of this one has slowed down tremendously as Barca are just trying to close out while taking chances to score whenever Atleti gets caught looking vulnerable.
Atleti are now just closing up and playing heavy off the counter.
The midfield pressing that was so great in the first half has all but gone and time on the ball is minimal for Los Colchoneros.
69'—Atletico do well to hold possession and force Barca to run a bit, but they eventually try and test the defense with a deep cross.
Alba is there to clear the ball and slow Adrian in the end. Nice play from both teams there.
68'—David Villa and Thiago are seen warming up on the sideline as Tito Vilanova begins thinking about his changes soon.
45'—Adriano might have saved a goal here.
Adrian sends a fine ball in for Falcao who has no one but Valdes in front, but Ariano beats him to the ball and clears it away for a corner.
Nothing comes from it.
59'—Sub for Atleti
Very interesting move for Simeone here as he uses his third and final change. Diego Costa comes off for Tiago and Adrian will take Costa's place in attack.
More on the goal
It had to come eventually. Messi takes the ball from Sanchez and literally runs around Juanfran and then Miranda before sending an unstoppable shot past Courtois.
Barcelona now have a comfortable two-goal lead.
56'—Sub for Atleti
Suarez is now coming off for Adrian Lopez as Simeone chooses to take off a midfielder for another forward.
It seems Atleti will either play a higher-pressing, but less efficient overloaded midfield or will switch to the 4-3-3.
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