Decisive Liga encounters against Atlético Madrid

Decisive Liga encounters against Atlético Madrid

This Saturday's game is not the first time that Barça and 'los colchoneros' have met in game when both sides have been chasing the league title. Here are six of the most memorable

This Saturday (4.15pm CEST), FC Barcelona go head to head with Atlético Madrid in a game that could well go on to decide the title. But it’s by no means the first time that these two fine sides have played each other under such dramatic circumstances.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to remember some other decisive Liga clashes between the two teams.

18 April 1971: Atlético Madrid 1-1 FC Barcelona

Going into the final day of the league season, three teams could still win the title:

  1. Valencia 43
  2. FC Barcelona 42
  3. Atlético Madrid 41

It was two points for a win in those days, and Valencia had a better head-to-head against Barça. So a draw on the final day would be enough to secure them the championship – and they were playing away to Espanyol, who surely wouldn’t want to help their local rivals win the league?

Meanwhile, Barça were playing away to Atlético, who could still win the title themselves, as they did have a better head-to-head against Valencia. Complicated!

Despite an absurd rule that the players could not be told what was happening at the other ground, it was 1-1 between Atlético and Barça when word came through that Espanyol had taken the lead against a very nervous Valencia. But neither Atlético nor Barça could break their deadlock, and Valencia ended up winning one of the most dramatic Liga finales ever!


28 April 1973: FC Barcelona 0-0 Atlético Madrid

With four games to go the league table looked like this:

  1. Atlético Madrid 42
  2. Espanyol 41
  3. FC Barcelona 40
  4. Real Madrid 39

Barça were at home to Atlético Madrid, and despite being the vastly superior side in a game that (much to the annoyance of the fans) was not shown on TV, it ended 0-0. Espanyol were also challenging to win the league for the very first time, but in the end Atlético hung on to win the trophy, with Barça two points behind in second.

30 March 1991: FC Barcelona 1-1 Atlético Madrid

With ten games to go, La Liga was already a two-horse race:

  1. FC Barcelona 44
  2. Atlético Madrid 40

The game at Camp Nou offered Barça the chance to open up a six-point gap, but despite Julio Salinas opening the scoring it ended 1-1. But Barça would eventually go on to win the first of four consecutive league titles under Johan Cruyff by ten clear points.


17 May 2014: FC Barcelona 1-1 Atlético Madrid

Just seven years ago, the league was decided on the very last day:

  1. Atlético Madrid 89
  2. FC Barcelona 86

Tata Martino’s Barça were three points adrift of Atlético but had the better head-to-head and could still win the title with a victory. The packed Camp Nou went crazy when Alexis Sánchez put the blaugrana ahead after 33 minutes, but Diego Godin equalised for the red-and-whites early in the second half and the game ended one apiece, confirming Atlético as champions.


4 March 2018: FC Barcelona 1-0 Atlético Madrid

There were 12 games to go, but the two teams were already comfortably clear of the rest of the pack:

  1. FC Barcelona 66
  2. Atlético Madrid 61

Atlético Madrid, with Antoine Griezmann among the players, came to Camp Nou hoping to prevent Barça from going eight points clear. But Leo Messi scored the only goal of the game, and Barça marched on to win the title by 14 points, and would have ended the season unbeaten had it not been for defeat at Levante on the second-to-last day.


6 April 2019: FC Barcelona 2-0 Atlético Madrid

The following season, Barça and Atlético were again the frontunners. With just eight games to go, things looked like this:

  1. FC Barcelona 70
  2. Atlético Madrid 62

This was really Atlético’s last chance to stay in contention, and from the 28th minute onwards they had to do it with ten men after Diego Costa was red-carded. But it was still 0-0 with five minutes to go, before two goals in a minute from Luis Suárez and Leo Messi sent the Catalans 11 points clear at the top of the table and well on course for yet another league title!

Força Barça
Força Barça

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