Barcelona successfully navigated a crucial La Liga title challenge before the conclusion of 2023, securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.
In a match characterized by few clear-cut opportunities on either end of the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys pitch, the decisive contribution came from Atletico loanee Joao Felix, who made the key difference for the home side.
The Portuguese international has been at the center of controversy leading up to this match, with an ongoing exchange of words following his choice to depart Atletico in September.
Felix emerged victorious in a mild battle with Nahuel Molina on the edge of the Atletico box, cleverly chipping in the opening goal.
Atletico attempted to mount a comeback after the break, with Raphinha striking the post for Barcelona. Substitute Memphis Depay was superbly denied from a late free kick, and Inaki Pena prevented Angel Correa from finding the net.
The win for Xavi’s side brings them within four points of league leaders Real Madrid, securing them the third position, while Diego Simeone’s team remains in fourth place.