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An atmosphere more akin to a cup final greeted the players at the Wanda Metropolitano, and with 15 minutes played the action on both the pitch and in the stands hadn’t eased up.
Despite being the away side, Barça dictated the possession for long periods in this high-octane clash, with Atléti being reduced to counter attacking when the opportunity arose. A series of corners just before the 20 minute mark saw the visitors work an opening, but Sergi Roberto's ball across the area was gathered by Jan Oblak.
There was no let up in the intensity from both teams, with Barça always looking to spread the play wide and the hosts content to play more centrally and direct. Lionel Messi was constantly involved and on his 500th appearance, Sergio Busquets was at his imperious best. Just before the break, an unfortunate coming together saw Sergi Roberto having to leave the field, Rafinha replacing him for the second half.
The chess match continued after half-time with space and time on the ball at a premium. A number of physical challenges broke up the flow of the game but added to the raising of the decibel level.
Approaching the hour mark, Barça put their foot on the accelerator and began to pin the Rojiblancos back. At times it was difficult for the hosts to get out of their own half, however, from a corner with 13 minutes to go, Diego Costa rose highest to head home.
Ousmane Dembélé replaced Arthur with 10 to play, as Barça went searching for the equaliser. With time running out, the ball was worked wide to the Frenchman who cut inside to fire underneath Oblak and into the net in the last-minute of normal time.
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