The biggest match in Europe of the weekend took place in Spain, with Barcelona travelling to the Wanda Metropolitano to face Diego Simeone’s “Los Colchoneros”, but it was Lionel Messi’s magic the difference maker on a very close match already near the end.
Atlético’s renewal isn’t going well…
This was already looking like it could be a complicated year for Atlético de Madrid after the departures of some core pieces of the club’s success in recent years. Antoine Griezmann – that yesterday returned to Madrid – and Diego Godín led the team for several years and their simultaneous departures forced a small revolution on the roster.
Besides that, the wing backs of their defence also went through a small revolution with Juanfran, Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernández leaving the club.
The arrivals of Mario Hermoso, Felipe, Renan Lodi, Kieran Trippier, Héctor Herrera, João Félix or Álvaro Morata forced the club to spend some money, but for now the results aren’t showing up.
And if defensively Simeone’s team continues to have one of the best records of La Liga (10 goals conceded in 15 matches), the same can’t be said about their attack that only scored 16 goals during the same period.
The departure of the goalscorer Griezmann and the recent injuries of Diego Costa or João Félix have complicated the life of “El Cholo”, that is seeing his Atlético further and further away from the top spots of Spain Football.
The Colchoneros are now 6 points away from the top of the league table that is shared by Barcelona and Real Madrid, highlighting that they have 1 more match played than their rivals, who will still face off in the “El Clasico” on December 18th to settle up the score.
Messi, who else?
As it has been usual this season, Barcelona had another measured display where it was even Atlético creating the best goalscoring chances.
However, the Catalans count with a certain Lionel Messi on their roster, that insists on saving the skin of his manager Ernesto Valverde.
On Sunday, it was once again the Argentinian deciding the match on their favour with a goal near the end after a good combination with Luis Suárez that culminated on a well-placed shot from outside the box to the back of Jan Oblak’s net.
Once again, Barça managed to slip through, and they can very well thank their attacking duo that continues to feed the hopes of the Culé fans.
On the other hand, Barcelona still hasn’t really convinced this season and they need to step up their performance levels if they have the ambition to return to great European achievements.
— JornalistaCarlosRecúpero (@RecuperoCarlos) December 2, 2019
But for now, it seems clear that the Spanish manager Valverde will remain at the club for some time, as a consequence of the recent victories against Borussia Dortmund and Atlético de Madrid, both of them with a big portion of the responsibility going to Leo Messi.
Tied at the top of La Liga with Real Madrid, Barcelona is now the clear favourite to win the Spanish title with odds of 1.40 and the fact they slipped through at the Wanda Metropolitano has contributed to their ascension at this stage.
Real Madrid won away from home on the difficult Alavés’ stadium to stay at the top of the league table and Zinedine Zidane seems to be setting the record straight on the side of the merengues.
Lionel Messi is already whispering into Karim Benzema’s ear
Yes, the Argentinian star has only played 9 of Barcelona’s 15 matches in La Liga, but he has been wasting no time and he already has 9 goals on the competition.
Karim Benzema is leading the Pichichi trophy with 10 goals in 13 matches, however, he needs to maintain his excellent form if he wants to rival with the fantastic Lionel Messi that won this award for the past three seasons and is still favoured to win it again in 2019/20, with odds of 1.45 on 1xbet.
🤩 O BARÇA EM 99 SEGUNDOS ⏱
— FC Barcelona (de 🏡) (@fcbarcelona_br) November 30, 2019
The French Benzema seems to be one of the few that have any conditions to fight for the sceptre with odds of 3.05, with Luis Suárez next at 10.00 (with 7 goals) and Gerard Moreno from Villarreal at 31.50 (having 8 goals scored so far).
In normal circumstances and on his current moment of form, Lionel Messi will crush the competition.
However, a potential injury or decrease in form could open some opportunities for surprises. Basically, it is heavily dependent on what Messi can or cannot do from now until the end.