Second place Ateltico Madrid traveled to Camp Nou to take on first place Barcelona on Saturday in what was Madrid’s last chance to try to battle for top spot in the league.
Barcelona started the match in their usual 4-3-3 formation with Messi, Suarez, and Coutinho up front. Atletico went with a 4-4-2 formation with Diego Costa and Griezmann as strikers.
The game started with chances for both sides, with Barca looking the most dangerous. The match was relatively quiet until Diego Costa received a straight red card in the 28th minute for cursing at the referee. Costa is no stranger to bookings, but this red card could have possibly cost Madrid a chance at first place.
The whole match was dominated by Barcelona but were unable to score for 85 minutes. Suarez finally broke the deadlock with a beautiful strike from outside the box to the lower right corner.
Just one minute later, Messi would score the dagger to make it 2-0. That goal made it 43 goals in 39 games for Messi this season along with 21 assists and 7 free kicks.
This win for Barcelona means that Messi is now the player with the most La Liga wins (335) in history, overtaking Iker Casillas.
Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak said after the game, “Barcelona scored two goals in the last minutes, you know that’s Barca. They have great players and for me Lionel Messi is the best player in history.”
Barcelona are still on pace for the treble with La Liga almost secured. Barca will take on Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals on April 10th.