Atletico Madrid remain two points clear at the top of the La Liga table, but Real Madrid can go top on head to head if they beat Sevilla on Sunday night. Sevilla, who thought their title hopes ended on Monday night after losing to Athletic Bilbao, can cut the gap on the leaders to four points if they beat Real Madrid.
The match at the Camp Nou was a very even contest from start to finish and a goalless draw was undoubtedly a fair result. The visitors looked the more dangerous in the first period while the Catalans were on top in the second. Messi was Barca's biggest threat going forward, but both defences were on top. The result was what neither side were after, especially Barcelona.
Barca had more of the possession in the first half, but it was their guests who posed more of a threat. Lemar had the first sight of goal inside three minutes and he forced Ter Stegen into a save, but the Atleti man then pulled a muscle and had to be replaced inside 15 minutes. Angel Correa could have scored after 19 minutes after being teed up by Mario Hermoso, but fine defending by Clement Lenglet prevented him scoring.
It was then Barca's turn to lose a player to injury as Sergio Busquets had to be replaced after clashing heads with Stefan Savic. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to continue and he was subsitituted by Ilaix Moriba.
Stand out newsMay 8, 2021
Atletico continued to threaten and Marcos Llorente was denied by a terrific save by Marc Andre-Ter Stegen in the Barca goal. Luis Suarez then tried to beat the German at his near post in the 34th minute, but the keeper was up to the task. Felipe then spurned a glorious opportunity after blazing over a short corner just before half-time.
Barca rarely troubled Oblak, but Messi made a tremendous run from halfway to beat four or five defenders and force a stunning save from the Slovenian. However, that was Barca's only chance of a goal in the first 45.
The hosts had the better of the second period, but chances were still at a premium. Suarez had a pop for Atletico early on while Pique got his head to a Messi cross just after the hour mark, but it was easy for Oblak.
Ronald Araujo had the ball in the back of the Atletico net 20 minutes from time, but he had strayed offside from Jordi Alba's pass. Atletico rarely threatened towards the end as Barca went in search of winner and Ousmane Dembele should have won it in the 85th minute when he got on the end of Alba's cross, but he could not keep his header down.
Lionel Messi then narrowly hit wide of Oblak's goal from a free-kick from just outside the box in the 90th minute in what turned out to be the last chance. The points were deservedly shared and we will have to wait until Sunday to see whether Zidane's side take advantage.
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