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Foto: Atlètic de Madrid.

The best attack in the Liga Asobal against the best defence. In other words, Atlético Madrid versus Barça Intersport. But Barça were stunning today against Talant Duixebàiev's side. From the moment they broke the 4-4 deadlock after ten minutes, they never went behind, with Saric as brilliant in goal as Nagy was in attack.

Evenly matched

It was always going to be a great game between the top two teams in the league. The star of the first half was Daniel Saric, with some tremendous saves that helped keep Atlético's tally down as FCB built a commanding lead of 4-8.

But the last five minutes of the half saw the Catalans lose some steam. Rutenka even missed a penalty as Atlético closed the gap to 9-10 before Raúl Entrerríos made it 9-11 at the break.

Epic victory

The second half was even more well matched than the first, and it was anybody's game at 13-13. Ten minutes into the second half it was 15-15 and after fifteen it was 18-18.

After twenty minutes, the deadlock was still maintained (20-20). But then Rutenka was red carded for pulling down Isaías Guardiola, and shortly after one of the home side, Kiril Lazarov, was also given his marching orders for throwing a penalty straight into the face of Daniel Saric.

In the last five minutes, Xavi Pascual's side finally made their break (20-23). The closing minutes were as tense as things can get in handball, with Atlético getting back to within one (23-23), but eight-goal hero Laszlo Nagy then managed another for Barça Intersport. It all ended 23-25, with Daniel Saric's 22 saves probably the most determinant factor.

MATCH STATS

Atlético Madrid, 23

FCB Intersport, 25

Atlético Madrid (9+14): Arpad Sterbik, Joan Cañellas (5), Julen Aginagalde (2), Didier Dinart, Isaías Guardiola (1), Kiril Lazarov (2), Luc Abalo (4) –starting seven– Chema Rodríguez (3), Nikolaj Markussen (2), Mariusz Jurkiewicz, Alberto Entrerríos (1), Jonas Kallman (2), Edu Fernández, David Davis, Roberto García.

FCB Intersport (11+14): Daniel Saric, Víctor Tomás (1), Viran Morros, Magnus Jernemyr, Laszlo Nagy (8), Daniel Sarmiento, Cedri Sorhaindo (1) – starting seven – Marco Oneto (1), Siarhei Rutenka (4), Mikel Aguirrezabalaga, Raúl Entrerríos (4), Jesper Noddesbo (2), Juan García  (3).

Periods: 1-2, 4-4, 4-5, 4-8, 7-10, 9-11 (half-time) 13-13, 15-15, 18-18, 20-20, 23-25 (final)

Referee: Enrique Ríos Marín.


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