Barcelona 6-1 Atletico Madrid: Match Report and Player Ratings

Efosa OsaghaeContributor IOctober 5, 2008

In a match billed as Messi v. Aguero, it looks like 1-0 to team Messi and 6-1 to Barcelona. In all fairness this match could have gone into double figures before half-time—Barcelona were at their scintillating, vibrant best.

It all started in the third minute when Marquez headed home a cross from the brilliant Xavi. Most teams would now be happy to defend for a while to compensate for an early goal but Atletico didn't change their formation or tactics, and Barcelona took advantage.

About two minutes later Messi was tripped inside the box, after little contact. The silky  Argentinian had earned a penalty for Eto'o to score, 2-0 and five minutes gone. Surely Barcelona couldn't get a third in under ten minutes.

I spoke too soon, Messi capitalised on woeful defending and, using some quick thinking, curled a free kick in the left corner leaving the goalkeeper, the manager, and the stadium in shock. The scoreline, after only ten minutes gone, was 3-0.

Atletico were done and dusted, there was no way back—even after a 25-yard wonder strike from Maxi left Valdes with no chance. Adding to Atletico's problems, Maxi had to be taken off because of an injury suffered while scoring his goal.

For Barcelona and Atletico the best way of defense is attack, but Barcelona had the luxury of being 3-1 up! After a delicious pass from Xavi, Eto'o finished of the main course with a great finish.

4-1, 17 minutes gone.

For Atletico this was in danger of becoming a cricket score, so what happens? They concede another. Andres Iniesta hit the post after a wonderful run which allowed Gudjohnsen to tap in.

5-1, 28 minutes gone.

Half an hour gone and Barcelona were playing like Gods, whereas Atletico were abysmal at best. Even at half-time, no-one could quite believe their eyes at the scoreline.

For Guardiola it would probably be one of the easiest team-talks he will ever make and probably the same for the Atletico manager, as whatever he would say would fall upon deaf ears.

After the break Barcelona played the possesion game they have perfected as Atletico played a little bit better, but not much.

Eto'o nearly grabbed a hat-trick, but was foiled by the surprisingly sharp Coupet.

Now it was time for some substitutions as Messi, Eto'o, and Xavi all received a rapturous round of applause for their fantastic performances.

A lot had been said about the Thierry Henry we now see at Barcelona, and how the one we saw at Arsenal. But his goal reminded us of the good old days when he used to scare defenders out of their skin. It was a classic Barcelona goal, started by Henry and ended by the Frenchman with a powerful finish.

6-1, 76 minutes gone.

For the last 15 minutes Atletico Madrid might have well just gone home.

For the neutrals it was splendid to watch, for Barcelona it was beautiful to play, for Atletico it was painful to see.

Player Ratings:

Valdes:7

Puyol:7

Pique:7

Marquez:7

Abidal:7

Busquets:6

Xavi:9

Gudjohnsen:7

Messi:8

Iniesta:8

Eto'o:8

Subs:

Henry:7

Bojan:6

Keita:6

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