First Division - Day 20

Atlético Madrid 3 - Barcelona 0

Atlético: Mono Burgos; Contra (Aguilera 90'), Coloccini, Hibic, Sergi; Albertini (Movilla 79'), Emerson; José Mari, Correa (Dani 58'), Luis García; Fernando Torres (Movilla 79'). 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Bonano; Puyol, Christanval (Oleguer 20'), Frank De Boer, Reiziger; Xavi, Rochemback; Mendieta, Riquelme, Overmars; Dani (Motta 46'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Atlético: Hibic for Santi / Barcelona: Christanval, Rochemback, Riquelme, Dani for Iniesta, Cocu, Saviola, Kluivert.

1-0. 41. Fernando Torres. Rounded De Boer and beat Bonano inside near post..
2-0. 70. Emerson. Headed Contra cross past keeper following short corner..
3-0. 88. Luis García. Took Movilla pass on left and shot across keeper in off bar.

Atlético Madrid beat a depleted Barcelona side 3-0 to move back into contention for the European spots and leave their opponents reeling down in the bottom half of the table. The visitors were missing eight of their first team squad through injury and suspension, and with new manager Radomir Antic not taking over until next week after the firing of Van Gaal, Toño De la Cruz took charge of the side. Things got worse for the stand-in manager after Christanval left the field injured in the twentieth minute, and Bonano had to make a double save from Emerson and Fernando Torres. However Burgos was in action a few minutes later saving from Mendieta, and Overmars put another chance over the bar for the visitors.

Five minutes before the break though the home side took the lead when Fernando Torres left Frank De Boer for dead before beating Bonano. De la Cruz brought on Motta for his sole striker Dani at half time, but even so his side could have scored soon afterwards when young substitute Oleguer headed over the bar following a corner. Both sides were left with ten men on the hour mark when José Marí and Rochemback were sent off for fighting after the Atlético forward had kicked Motta from behind, and a few minutes later Emerson headed home a corner to put Atlético two ahead. Motta hit the bar at the other end with a long shot, but with two minutes to go Luis García finished things off with a shot in off the bar from Movilla's pass, taking his side up to seventh in the table. Barça ended the weekend in fifteenth place, only three points above the relegation zone, and Antic will have his work cut out to get them back on track for a place in Europe next season.