Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: Lionel Messi scores late winner
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 27/02/17 10:10am
Lionel Messi scored a late winner for the second week in a row as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Sunday.
Having netted a 90th-minute penalty to secure victory over lowly Leganes last time out, Messi was on hand again to see Barca past Atletico with a goal three minutes from time at the Vicente Calderon.
Rafinha had put Barca ahead midway through the second half, only for Diego Godin to head in an equaliser for Atletico shortly afterwards.
As in recent weeks, Barca were not at their free-flowing best in the Spanish capital, but they held out in the first half and then improved as the game wore on.
Atletico spurned early chances as Yannick Carrasco and Godin both failed to hit the target from 10 yards out.
Samuel Umtiti then blocked a shot from Antoine Griezmann as Atletico's high pressing continued to force Barca into mistakes at the back.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen tipped over an effort from Griezmann before Barca finally started to threaten.
Luis Suarez thought he had broken the deadlock after half an hour when he headed in from close range, but he was penalised for handball after Jan Oblak fumbled a shot from Messi.
Atletico continued to cause Barca problems but the visitors went close when Oblak tipped over a free-kick from Messi and then Gerard Pique saw a header from a corner saved on the line.
Barca improved after the break and should have taken the lead when Messi slid through Suarez, but he shot wide.
Griezmann saw an effort saved by Ter Stegen at the other end before Godin headed over six yards out.
But Barca took the lead after an hour as the hosts failed to clear their lines and Rafinha pounced to finish past Oblak.
Even though Godin headed in a quick reply from a free-kick, Barca finished in the ascendancy and grabbed the winner when Suarez cut back for Messi to score.