Barcelona 3 - 0 Atlético Madrid: Unmatched Dominance Displayed

Barcelona display a masterclass performance at the Wanda Metropolitano
Joao Felix of FC Barcelona (C) seen celebrating a goal with...
Joao Felix of FC Barcelona (C) seen celebrating a goal with... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

A match against Atlético Madrid is never supposed to be this easy, but Barcelona made it that easy. After both teams eliminated Italian opposition this past week in the Champions League, the match between Atléti and Barça looked to be a tight affair but was anything except close.

Match Recap

In the buildup to the match, the Wanda Metropolitano was raving with energy and continued to burst throughout the first half, which Atléti used to control the beginning stages of the game.

Barcelona was not able to have any control in midfield, and with the press of the home team suffocating Barça, it looked destined to be another horror show that took a punch to the recent victory against Napoli.

However that all changed in the 38th minute of the match. Barça started to ease into the game near halftime slowly, and it was a moment of great link-up play between Gündoğan and Lewandowski, and a near post cross sent in by the Polish striker falling into the feet of Félix who buried it in the bottom corner past Oblak's gloves.

Atletico Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga
Felix refusing to celebrate- Atletico Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga / Anadolu/GettyImages

Once again, the Atléti loanee scored past his employers but wisely refrained from celebrating due to the home fans showing all types of negativity towards the Portuguese forward. This goal would go on to open the floodgates for the Blaugrana.

But before the onslaught of goals appeared, in an almost equivalent exchange, it would need the removal of a certain manager. Barcelona coach Xavi was once again given a red card in a match due to his comments to the fourth official, leaving the team without leadership, but it didn't affect the team's morale.

Barcelona continued right where they left off in the first half, with Raphinha intercepting a bad ball from De Paul, laying it off to Lewandowski, who found a way to take a shot with his body going away from the net, placing the ball past Oblak and into the far post and in.

Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski Celebration - Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Atlético had no answers for Barcelona in the second half, their usual intensity dropped and consequently, their performance declined too. In the 63rd minute, Barça would put the finishing touches on a great performance with another beautiful cross sent in by Lewandowski, but this time Fermín would slot the ball in the back of the net with a powerful header.

Fermin Lopez
Fermín celebration - Atletico Madrid v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports / Diego Souto/GettyImages

Atléti would have a few chances to salvage a respectable goal but were denied their efforts by an outstanding double save from ter Stegen, saving efforts from both Llorente and Memphis to maintain the clean sheet for the team.

As the game approached its final moments, substitute Roque would have an opportunity to score on a counterattack, but would be tackled from behind by Molina, resulting in another red card being awarded in the match.

Catching Fire at the Right Time

Since Xavi announced his departure from the team, the Blaugrana haven't lost a single match and have picked up their two biggest wins all season in a week. It seems Xavi has found the right foundational pieces to the lineup, and the emergence of Cubarsí has given the team an additional weapon in defense that has stopped the rate of goals being conceded.

With the Champions League match against PSG looming on the horizon in less than a month, Barcelona must continue this run of outstanding performances in the lead-up to the tie to gain supreme confidence.

With the potential returns of both Pedri and De Jong for the first and second leg respectively, Barcelona has great chances of taking down the Parisians and turning a season's failure into one brimming with a beautiful ending.