A well-worked goal from the lively Ousmane Dembele was enough for Barcelona to beat Atletico Madrid on Sunday.
Ousmane Dembele scored the only goal of the game as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid to go three points clear at the top of LaLiga.
Real Madrid’s defeat by Villarreal on Saturday gave Xavi’s side the chance to earn some ground at the summit and they seized the opportunity with an impressive display at the Civitas Metropolitano.
Dembele’s equalizing first-half finish was enough to see off the toothless Rojiblancos, who subsequently slipped to fifth.
Stefan Savic and Ferran Torres were sent off for a late off-the-ball clash as the Blaugrana, who were without the suspended Roberto Lewandowski, overcame a major test to secure their first top-flight win since the World Cup break.
Barca quickly stamped their authority on the game by dominating possession, with Savic and Jose Gimenez making key blocks to deny Ansa Fati.
Pedri was the architect of a superb opening goal in the 22nd minute when he burst into the box and laid the ball to Gavi, who played it into the path of Dembele and the winger found the bottom left corner with a clinical right-footed finish.
Jan Oblak prevented Pedri from adding a second soon after, but Atleti continued to pose a threat and Jose Gimenez headed just wide before Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept out Antoine Griezmann’s drive with a superb one-handed save.
Former Barca player Griezmann had another chance early in the second half but failed to hit the target from eight yards.
Savic came to the rescue again when he tipped Dembele’s dangerous shot wide as Atleti were caught with the ball over the top.
There was late drama as Savic and Torres were given their marching orders after a brawl and Griezmann struggled to clear off the line as Barca held on for a big win.