Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona battled back to beat 10-man Atletico Madrid by 2-1 in an action-packed Champions League quarter-final first leg game. Atletico scored a possibly significant away goal when Fernando Torres impacted in a clinical first-time shot in the 25th minute. But the game turned when Torres was sent off soon after scoring for two unnecessary bookings within seven minutes. Holders Barcelona showed the improvement in the second half, Suarez nudging in the equaliser in the 63rd minute and after that strongly heading in the winner following ten minutes.
Suarez has scored seven and assisted in three goals in five Champions League matches at the Camp Nou this season. However, the Uruguay international had been lucky not to be shown a first-half red card for kicking out at Atletico right-back Juanfran. Both the sides will meet again in the second leg at the Vicente Calderon next Wednesday. Barcelona came into the game on the back of Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by arch-rivals Real Madrid, a loss that ended the Catalan side’s 39-match unbeaten run. And Atletico seemed to take plenty of encouragement from their neighbours’ win at the Nou Camp.
Torres, 32, has failed to rediscover anything like prolific form since returning to boyhood club Atletico – but his goal here was arguably the most important of his second spell. The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker showed the clinical edge which characterised the early part of his career as he latched on to Koke’s defence-splitting pass to fire in through Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s legs. However, his side’s tactical masterplan – grab the away goal and sit tight – was blown apart by his dismissal.
Torres was shown his first yellow card for clipping Barcelona forward Neymar, then saw red moments later when he needlessly clattered into the back of midfielder Sergio Busquets close to the halfway line. The numerical advantage after Torres’ dismissal allowed Barcelona to secure their seventh successive win against Simeone’s team. The Spanish champions have beaten Atletico in both La Liga matches this season, helping them move six points clear of their opponents.
Curated from Barcelona 2-1 Atletico Madrid – BBC Sport