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Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored late goals again to move Barcelona to within touching distance of the title, as they beat 10-man Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Camp Nou to open an 11-point lead at the top of the La Liga standings.
Although Atletico – who had Diego Costa sent off in the first half – looked set to hang on to a draw, Barca's dominance ultimately paid off as Suarez and then Messi struck late in the day as they did against Villarreal on Wednesday to land what is surely a fatal blow in the race for title.
Barca edged a tense first half, which saw Costa given a straight red card in the 28th minute for berating referee Jesus Gil Manzano, though they were unable to turn their superiority into a lead.
Atletico weathered the storm for most of the second period as well, with Jan Oblak producing an inspired performance, but he was finally beaten twice in the last five minutes as Messi claimed a record-breaking 335th LaLiga victory.
Goal! Leo Messi does it all by himself to give Barca a 2-0 lead!
Goal! Luis Suarez finds the bottom corner with a delicious curling shot! Barca score late on!
Chance! It's yet another mazy Messi run, thankfully for Atleti, Jan Oblak is equal to the shot!
Atleti down to ten men! Diego Costa is shown a straight red for abusing the referee!
Chance! Leo Messi hits a freekick just over!
Chance! Jordi Alba hits the woodwork! What a through ball from Messi!
Peep! Let's get this party started!
This will be the view that greets the players when they come out of the tunnel (Don't worry it will be a little fuller in 15 minutes or so!)
Now for Atletico Madrid! This is a must win for Diego Simeone! It's a full strength side with Diego Costa and reported Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann in attack! Diego Godin will marshall the centre of defence!
Team News! Barcelona first up! Leo Messi returns to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the midweek thriller against Villarreal.
Fancy some meaty pre-game stats? Of course, you do! They look pretty good if you are a Barca fan!
💣 Barça v @atletienglish stats bomb 💣— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 6, 2019
🔵🔴 - unbeaten in 1️⃣2️⃣ LaLiga games at Camp Nou against Atleti
🔵🔴 - 1️⃣8️⃣ League games unbeaten is the longest run of any club in the big 5️⃣ European leagues
🔥 @LuisSuarez9 - involved in 11 goals in 14 games v 🔴⚪️
Good news! Leo Messi & Luis Suarez and sauntered into the Nou Camp! I'm predicting they might start today...
Nice little stat than! Jan Oblak will have to be at his very best if Atleti is to get the better of Barca!
DEFENSIVE WALL ⛔️— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) April 6, 2019
Jan Oblak has the best record in the current @LaLigaEN season. Our keeper has conceded just 1⃣9⃣ goals in 3⃣0⃣ games, keeping 1⃣7⃣ clean sheets. Jan the Man!💪#AúpaAtleti #BarçaAtleti pic.twitter.com/VFxcEeIVV0
Atleti are here and all setup, can they upset the runaway leaders and keep the title race alive?
It's high stakes tonight at the Nou Camp! Which team will hold their nerve?
Good evening! Welcome to the Live Updates of Barcelona Vs Atletico Madrid! The Catalans can go 11 points clear at the top of the table against second-placed Atleti! Join me for all the build-up, team news and match commentary including video highlights from this decisive game in the La Liga title race.