With the notes of Dembélé and Araujo, Barça liquidated a discontinuous Atlético in a game with a lot of fallow.
A pick and shovel victory for the leader, so forced to go toe-to-toe in the Metropolitan ring that he ended up with Kessié and Sergi Roberto as beacons, with what that means for Barça.
At Atlético, who did not wake up until Dembélé's goal, 19 shots were not enough.
Not even without Ter Stegen ahead.
In the last blink of an eye, Araujo scratched a shot from Griezmann under the crossbar, just after a wrestling round between Savic and Ferran, both sent off.
Another symptom of what was the match that established Barça on the throne with a three-point advantage over Real Madrid.
The crash began on a slow fire.
Little from Barça, pleased with the ball as anesthesia.
Almost nothing from Atlético, buttoned very close to Oblak in the cold Madrid night.
Nobody wanted to risk, all neutralized.
Xavi's team was the reflection of De Jong, dedicated to processing the game in flip-flops.
Simeone's painting was hanging from the rack of its centrals, pigs to block some Barca intentions.
Xavi arranged a team with three center-backs to attack and a rear guard with four sentinels when the ball was someone else's.
Bucket was the wild card, winger in attack, winger to close.
Simeone's group was so sunk, that it dispensed with Morata's start, that Ter Stegen had a lunar trip left.
Not even crumbs from João Félix, and hardly anything more than Griezmann rolling up his sleeves, victims of a team with the reverse gear.
The Frenchman had no one to attack or command, with his comrades sheltering on the ropes.
In the Catalans, De Jong was as innocuous as Ansu had little weight as a striker, pinched between Savic and Giménez.
With each one in their role, the monotony was broken by Pedri.
Finally, someone daring in an encounter as imprecise as it is flat.
The enterprising canary launched the adventure, leaving Griezmann, Barrios and Koke in the slipstream and setting Gavi in the position of striker.
The Sevillian, short but wild boar like few others, won the assault on Reinildo and gave Dembélé an appointment with the goal, accurate with his cross shot.
An outbreak of Pedri and 0-1.
Video with the summary and the goal of Atlético-Barcelona
The goal altered the plot.
He woke up the rojiblancos and then it was the Barcelona fans who shrank for half an hour.
Bad vibes for Barça, more capable in rival territory than in their own.
Without the ball, the Barcelona squad is left in a thong.
Atlético was about to take advantage of it, already with another bravery.
A header from Giménez missed by a hair and Ter Stegen sealed a popcorn before a shot from Griezmann and then he botched a start and Reinildo almost condemned him.
Xavi saw it so badly that before the time was due he ordered an eloquent move: the massive Kessié for the insubstantial De Jong.
As football has its twists and turns, the change had an effect on Pedri, who came to the rescue of Xavi's men with the best possible resource: the ball.
Little by little the Simeone consortium deflated again, even though the Argentine gave flight to all the forwards.
With the ball sewn up again, Barça was only stretched by Dembélé, even if it was through a route little explored by the Catalans.
A pass to the horizon from Koundé was caught by his compatriot in the race and after a rebound from Savic the ball stopped against Oblak's left post.
Of course, Ferran gave as few signs as Ansu.
Or as João Félix had given, back to the dark room ahead of time.
Atlético, subdued for a while by Pedri, came back in the last section, the one with the outburst, with Kessié now more protagonist than the Canarian midfielder.
The duel had more noise than football.
The mattress team loaded and Araujo and Christensen swept.
Then came the great local occasion.
Griezmann, in the goal waiting room, finished off with Ter Stegen out of orbit and Araujo avoided the tie.
A play that portrayed a mutant Barça.
Without Lewandowski, more effective in his ranch than in the adversary.
As proof, the clean sheet in 12 league games.
Atlético, reduced to other missions, to the fight with Betis, Real and others for a position on the European Cup poster.
That will be his game by game from now on.
Although it may be that in Cholo's office that was always the objective.
His initial warmth towards the leader shaped him.
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