Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Torres strike ends Barca's goalless run

By Sports Desk April 23, 2023

Barcelona returned to winning ways in LaLiga with a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou.

Held to goalless draws in back-to-back league matches, Barca's march to the title had lost some steam, but a narrow victory ended that run.

Ferran Torres' first-half goal secured all three points for the hosts, with Atletico struggling to muster much of a threat in response.

The win moves Barcelona 11 points ahead of Real Madrid with eight games left to play.

Antoine Griezmann was inches away from putting Atletico ahead early on, Thomas Lemar feeding a pass to his compatriot who curled an effort from outside the box that struck the underside of the crossbar.

Angel Correa then tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a strike from the edge of the area, forcing the Barca goalkeeper into a diving save, while the hosts dominated possession but had few chances to threaten Jan Oblak.

That changed one minute before the break, Raphinha bursting down the left side and playing a pass into the middle of the pitch that was met by Torres, who steered his effort into the bottom right corner.

Barcelona pushed to further their advantage in the second half, Raphinha dragging an effort off target before Gavi picked up a loose ball following a corner and drilled a low strike that bounced narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

Raphinha then bundled Robert Lewandowski's drilled cross goal bound but Oblak dived onto the loose ball, before Lewandowski wasted a golden opportunity to secure the win when he selfishly went for goal but missed the target with the Brazilian in space with an open goal to aim at.

Related items

  • Diaby completes Saudi switch from Aston Villa Diaby completes Saudi switch from Aston Villa

    Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby has completed a reported £50million move to Al-Ittihad, the Premier League club confirmed on Wednesday. 

    Diaby, who became Villa's record signing following his arrival from Bayer Leverkusen, helped Unai Emery's side secure Champions League football last season.

    The 25-year-old made 54 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals, three of which came during their semi-final run in the Europa Conference League. 

    Diaby joins fellow compatriots Karim Benzema and N'Golo Kante at the club, although the latter has been linked with a return to the Premier League.

    Al-Ittihad finished fifth in the Saudi Pro League last season, losing four of their last six games to miss out on qualification for the AFC Champions League Two group stage.

    Diaby thanked fans on social media, writing: "Villans, thank you for everything. It's time to say goodbye. I'd like to thank the club, the team members, the staff and everyone working at Aston Villa.

    "I've always given my best to help the club and the team, we've had some great moments that will stay in my memory. We've had a fantastic season, with moments of joy and happiness.

    "Together, we've achieved our objectives. The club will be playing in the Champions League next year and I wish them success. It's a season I will remember forever. Villans, I won't forget you."

  • 'A scandal' - Mascherano fumes following Argentina's controversial defeat at Paris Olympics 'A scandal' - Mascherano fumes following Argentina's controversial defeat at Paris Olympics

    Javier Mascherano labelled Argentina's controversial defeat to Morocco as "a scandal" in their opening game at the Paris Olympics. 

    Argentina looked to have rescued a point having come from two goals down when Cristian Medina headed home in the 16th minute of second half injury-time. 

    However, crowd trouble in the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard halted proceedings, with referee Glenn Nyberg taking both sets of players off the pitch. 

    The game was subsequently suspended for nearly two hours and once it resumed, the controversy and confusion continued. 

    Following a VAR review, Bruno Amione was adjudged to have been in an offside position in the build-up to the potential equaliser as Morocco's advantage was reinstated.

    The remaining three minutes of the contest played out in front of an empty stadium, with Tarik Sektioui's side able to hold on for an unlikely triumph. 

    The game finished more than four hours after it started, leaving Mascherano furious at full-time, describing the outcome as not befitting an event as prestigious as the Olympics.

    “The match was suspended for security and safety,” Mascherano began. “At no moment did we talk about the review. The official Olympic page put the match at 2-2.

    “The match was suspended for security. At no moment did we talk about the review. Then after we were not told anything new, we started to hear things.

    “The referee never came, he never gave us an explanation.”

    He added: “We turn the page and stay with the positive things from the team in the second half and look for the two wins we’re going to need.

    “What happened on the pitch was a scandal. This isn’t a neighbourhood tournament, this is the Olympic Games.

    “How are they going to stop the match seven times in the second half because someone comes onto the pitch?

    “The second and third time you have to take a decision. Seven times people came onto the pitch.”

    Lionel Messi, who won gold for La Albiceleste in Beijing in 2008, also shared his frustrations with his former Barcelona team-mate. 

    The 37-year-old kept it to the point, posting “Insolito” on his Instagram story, which translates to “unbelievable".

    Argentina face Iraq in their next game in Lyon on Saturday, concluding their group campaign against Ukraine on July 30. 

  • France 3-0 United States: Slow-starting hosts rally to opening Olympics win France 3-0 United States: Slow-starting hosts rally to opening Olympics win

    Hosts France recovered from a slow start to ease to a 3-0 opening win over the United States at Paris 2024 on Wednesday.

    There has been plenty of excitement around the home nation heading into the men's Olympic tournament, with coach Thierry Henry selecting a strong squad even with superstars like Kylian Mbappe absent.

    Yet it took more than an hour for the match in Marseille to spark into life, and even then France were reliant on a moment of magic from captain Alexandre Lacazette.

    The United States were the better side up until Lacazette's breakthrough goal, with Djordje Mihailovic thundering against the crossbar shortly before the veteran striker went up the other end and picked out the bottom-left corner.

    A frantic spell followed in which France twice could have been pegged back, grateful first to Guillaume Restes for a superb save from Paxten Aaronson and then to the goal frame as John Tolkin headed against the post.

    Instead, a second goal against the run of play settled the nerves in the stands as Bayern Munich new boy Michael Olise curled a fine finish around Patrick Schulte from outside the box.

    And Loic Bade added further gloss with a header from a Joris Chotard corner five minutes from time, while Griffin Yow saw a late consolation goal struck off for offside.

    Data Debrief: Belated home comfort for Les Bleus

    On paper, the gulf between the two teams was evident in the scoreline, but for those home fans in Marseille who grew audibly agitated early in the second half, this was far from easy viewing.

    Although France finished with three goals, they only created chances worth 0.43 expected goals (xG). The strikes by Lacazette and Olise were inspired individual efforts rather than the result of fine team play.

    Winning gold as the hosts is not easy in this event – only four nations (Great Britain in 1908, Belgium in 1920, Spain in 1992 and Brazil in 2016) have done so previously in 27 attempts – but more will be expected of Henry's outfit going forward.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.