Barcelona came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in a pulsating Champions League quarter-final first-leg showdown at the Nou Camp. Barcelona had to rely on a strike from Neymar to grab the equaliser almost 20 minutes from the final whistle. (Check out the match action in pics)
Atletico Madrid made a great start and could well have been ahead inside only five minutes as Barcelona’s deputy keeper Pinto made a terrible clearance which landed straight at the feet of Arda Turan who instantly fed David Villa but the striker shot outside the goal. Barcelona will be glad that their former player David Villa didn’t have much luck in front of the net.
Diego Simeone’s men scored after Atletico substitute Diego had silenced the home support with a sensational opener when he crashed a thunderous 25-yarder into the near post top corner from just outside the right of the area. Barcelona expectedly dominated possession but struggled to find the net as the visitors proved how stubborn they can be in their search for silverware this season.
Both sides then suffered major injury setbacks as both Gerard Pique and Diego Costa hobbled off. Costas injury could prove costly for Atletico’s La Liga title challenge.
Barcelona continued to dominate possession but visiting keeper Thibaut Courtois easily kept out efforts from Lionel Messi and Neymar. The Belgian goalkeeper made five saves against Barcelona which is his best record in a Champions League game. Neymar finally made Barcelona’s pressure count with his fourth goal in this season’s Champions League with a wonderful finish from Andres Iniesta’s sublime pass.