Leo Messi in the Vicente Calderón / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

- Messi's cunning goal was his fifth direct free kick for Barça. Curiously it was the second time he caught out Atlético Madrid for not asking for a wall. He did the same in 2008 at the Camp Nou.

- Sunday's goal ties Messi with César for the record of scoring goals in the first division against Atlético Madrid, with both on 15.

- Messi and Cesc received the most fouls last night, four each.

- Víctor Valdés was one of the stars of the game. The FC Barcelona blocked seven balls and turned away eight.

- Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Cesc were together in the FC Barcelona midfield for the first time since January 8 at Cornellà-el Prat. Xavi led the passing with 99 of his 110 attempts finding their man.

- Andrés Iniesta has equalled Chendo (47) for the most consecutive league games undefeated, and is just three short of the all-time record.

- Barça dominated the possession, as usual. They had 74%, though at one point during the first half the share went as high as 80%.

- Carles Puyol, with 12 recovered balls, was the best in the game in that department, along with Tiago of Atlético Madrid. Mascherano and Abidal recovered ten each.