60 min:Barcelona attack down the right with Gaviro on the ball. He feeds it inside to Coutinho, who shoots only to see his poor effort well saved by the advancing Jan Oblak.
58 min: It’s all a bit too easy for Atletico, who are soaking up what passes for Barcelona’s pressure and waiting patiently to hit them on the break. I think we can expect to see Antoine Griezmann coming on against his parent club in the next frew minutes – he’s busy warming up on the touchline. For Barcelona, Ansu Fati is also getting his stretch on.
55 min: Yannick Carasco goes down in the Barcelona penalty area, falling over the leg of Araujo at the byline. He doesn’t appeal for a penalty where others might have. He’d bamboozled the Barca defender with some neat footwork.
54 min: Atletico corner, after Llorente’s low cross is intercepted by Ronald Araujo. Thomas Lemar sends the ball into the mixer, where Marc-Andre ter Stegen punches clear Superman style.
52 min: Coutinho and Memphis link up well for Barcelona but the Brazilian’s shot from distance is blocked 0outside the Atletico penalty area.
50 min: It’s nip and tuck in the early stages of this second half, with Atletico sitting on their two-goal lead.
48 min: Marcos Llorente bustles through the middle towards the edge of the Barcelona penalty area trying to get the better of Sergino Dest as he chases a through ball. Play is pulled up for a foul on Sergio Busquets in the build-up.
Second-half: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona
46 min: Play resumes with one change in personnel on each side. For Atletico Kieran Trippier is on for Rodrigo De Paul. He goes into the right wing-back position, with Marco Llorente moving further up the pitch. Barcelona bring on Sergi Roberto for Nico Gonzalez on the left of their midfield three.
Half-time at the Wanda: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona
Peep: Thomas Lemar and Luis Suarez got the goals to leave Atletico Madrid in a very commanding position against Barcelona at the break.
45 min: Felix, Lemar and Suarez combine again to score with a lightning fast counter-attack. Felix playedas one-two with Lemar, who found himself in a two-on-one with Suarez against Pique. Lemar played the ball inside to Suarez, who took his time before slotting the ball past the advancing ter Stegen, making sure to avoid Pique, who was galloping back to try and stop his shot on the line.
GOAL! Atletico Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (Suarez 44)
Atletico double their lead. Atletico score on the counter but the celebration from Luis Suarez is muted against his former team.
44 min: Memphis tries to pick out Gerard Pique but his delivery sails into the gloves of Jan Oblak.
43 min: Savic and Memphis clash antlers over something or other but the referee doesn’t get involved. Barcelona win a free-kick for handball, wide on the right. Memphis Depay prepares to send the ball into the box.
38 min: Atletico corner. Thomas Lemar goes for an outswinger which is headed clear. Having told Felipe Anderson to warm up, Diego Simeone tells the Brazilian to sit down again. He is in constant communication with Stefan Savic, who he seems to think might be injured.
37 min:Barcelona are focussing almost all of their attacks down the left flank, specifically targetting the gap between Stefan Savic, on the right of Atletico’s back three and right wing-back Marcos Llorente.
35 min: Alternatively, he may have ordered a pizza and his Deliveroo driver is having trouble getting into the stadium.
33 min: Coutinho threads a pass outside Stefan Savic for Memphis to run on to. The Dutchman wasn’t expecting the delivery and is unable to take advantage. In the stands, Ronaldo Koeman is barking orders down a phone and doesn’t look at all happy. We can only presume he’s talking to Henrik Larsson, his man wearing earphones on the touchline.
30 min: A game that had been drifting fairly aimlessly has well and truly sprung into life. It’s end to end now as Memphis gets on the end of a delivery from the right to head across the face of goal. Frenkie De Jong stretches every sinew but can’t connect to steer the ball home.
28 min: Oof! Another one-touch move from Atletico. Suarez plays a give and go with Felix, who sends the Uruguayan in behind. His low shot across the face of goal rolls agonisingly wide of the far post. You’d have put the farm on Luis scoring that one!
27 min: Close, but no cigar for Philippe Coutinho, who pounces on a poor clearance to volley a low diagonal effort inches the wrong side of the upright from the edge of the Atletico penalty area.
25 min: Some brutal simplicity from Atletico there. On the right flank, Joao Felix received the ball and played it inside to Luis Suarez, who played Lemar in behind with a deft one-touch pass. In acres of room, the Frenchman picked his spot and rifled an unstoppable shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-0 Barcelona (Lemar 24)
Atletico lead! Thomas Lemar gets in behind the Barcelona defence and fires a screamer past ter Stegen to finish a scintillating move of one-touch passing between himself, Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.
22 min: Another Barcelona corner. On this occasion Coutinho’s outswinger is hoofed clear and the ball ends up back in the hands of ter Stegen.
21 min: Yannick Carasco curls the free-kick into the Barcelona penalty area fromn the right wing. His delivery, which I presume was supposed to be a cross, gives Marc-Andre ter Stegen plenty to think about as it threatens to drop under the bar. It lands on the roof of the net.
20 min: Barcelona’s Pablo Gaviro gets booked for a foul on Thomas Lemar.
18 min: No chances of note for either team with almost 20 minutes gone. Atletico are having the better of proccedings but there’s not a great deal in it. The game has been fairly cagey so far.
14 min: Philippe Coutinho grabs a hold of Joao Felix and won’t let go as he tries to put a stop to an Atletico counter-attack. He gives away a free-kick but avoids a yellow card.
13 min: A hopeful ball forward towards Luis Suarez from Mario Hermoso bounces straight through to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
11 min: Joao Felix is sent galloping down the left flank by a great pass from Koke. He loses possession and then gives away a free-kick for a fdoul on Barcelona’s Oscar Mingueza while trying to win the ball back.
9 min: Thomas Lemar drifts inside from the right flank and tries a low drive from distance. Wide of the upright but not by much.
7 min: Memphis goes down on the edge of the Atletico penalty area holding his face after a coming together with Jose Gimenez. It’s a corner for Barcelona, from which nothing comes.
6 min: Joao Felix is fouled again, this time by Ronald Araujo.
5 min: Koke wins a loose ball in midfield and plays it forward to Joao Felix. Atletico win a free-kick about 40 yards from the Barcelona goal. Rodrigo De Paul overhits his delivery to the far post and the ball drifts wide.
3 min: Frenkie De Jong picks out Philippe Coutinho on the right touchline as Barcelona gallop forward. He plays it back to the Dutchman, who picks out Sergino Dest. Atletico clear.
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona is go …
1 min:Barcelona get the ball rolling, their players wearing a pale blue/violet strip. The players of Atletico wear their usual red and white striped shirts, blue shorts and blue socks. On the touchline, Diego Simeone is doing his usual |Johnny Cash impression, wearing all black. Ronald Koeman is in the stands, serving the second instalment of a two-match touchline ban. I didn’t see what he’s wearing.
Not long now: The stands are packed as the teams march out on to the pitch. Koke leads out Atletico, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen wears the armband for Barcelona. Wer’re just a few handshakes, a coin-toss and a shrill blast of referee Soto Grado’s whistle away from kick-off.
A vote of confidence from Joan La Porta: “He will continue, Koeman will stay on as manager and he deserves some leeway,” said the Barcelona president earlier today. “Regardless of the result, Koeman will continue as the Barcelona manager.” Hmmm.
No Antoine Griezmann in the Atletico Madrid line-up: Joao Felix gets his first start starts up front alongside Luis Suarez, in a stadium that will be at 100% capacity for the first time in 18 months. On loan at Atletico from Barcelona, Griezmann starts on the bench and Thomas Lemar comes in for Kieran Trippier.
That Barcelona team: They have several players out injured and they may well win but on paper at least, I can’t remember ever seeing a more staggeringly ordinaryBarcelona team in my lifetime.
Barcelona: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Araujo, Dest; De Jong, Busquets, Gonzalez; Gaviro, Depay, Coutinho.
Early team news
Kieran Trippier was forced off in the first half of Atlético Madrid’s win over Milan and is a major doubt for this evening’s game but otherwise Diego Simeone has a full squad to choose from. Unlike in the Premier League, on loan players are allowed to feature against their parent clubs in La Liga, which means Antoine Griezmann could start for Atleti after scoring his first goal in six games against Milan during the week.
Ronaldo Koeman, by contrast, has a raft of injuries to contend with. Strikers Sergio Aguero, Martin Braithwaite and Ousmane Dembele are all sidelined, while midfielder Pedri and left-back Alex Balde are also unavailable. Fit again after 11 months out following a bad knee injury that required four operations, Ansu Fati made a goal-scoring return from the bench against Levante last Sunday but is unlikely to start tonight as Koeman eases him back in to action.
La Liga: Atletico Madrid v Barcelona
The Wanda Metropolitano is the venue for tonight’s Spanish top flight clash between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, who are fourth and seventh respectively in the La Liga table, separated by two points, with the hosts having played one game more.
After a decent start to the season, Atleti suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Alaves last weekend but bounced back with a rather fortuitous injury-time midweek win over AC Milan in the Champions League.
Still struggling to adjust to life after Leo, Barcelona’s financial problems have been well documented and manager Ronald Koeman is believed to be a dead man walking. His cause was certainly not helped by his side’s Wednesday night Champions League humbling at the hands of Benfica, their second defeat in two group games. Even victory tonight is unlikely to delay his apparently inevitable departure just as soon as a replacement – however unsuitable – is lined up.
Kick off in Madrid is at 8pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.