João Félix was unsurprisingly the centre of attention as he scored against his parent club to earn Barcelona a much-needed win over their title rivals. The 24-year-old’s appearance in the starting lineup against his former teammates and manager, who have not had much positive to say about the former player in the lead-up to the game, promised to lead to quarrels, and that is exactly what we got.
Félix put the home side one nil up on the half-hour mark and did not shy away from celebrating in front of the home crowd and the small section of Atlético Madrid supporters who had made the trip to Montjuic Olympic Stadium. From there on in, the away side certainly took to make the Portuguese forward’s night as difficult as possible.
Tensions came to a head after Giménez brought Félix down as they awaited a corner where the Movistar Plus + (AS) cameras captured the ensuing conversation between the two players. “You hit me, you hit me,” complained Félix, to which the Uruguayan defender responded among other players, “Yes, do you want to fight?”
Koke, as captain, stepped in to calm tension, warning Giménez that he had already received a yellow card in an effort to calm the defender down as he had picked up his yellow in the 30th minute after a foul on Robert Lewandowski.
However, it was Félix who got the last laugh as his current team clinched the one-nil victory after enduring a late Atlético surge. Barcelona now move within four points of league leaders Real Madrid, while Atlético are seven points off the top, albeit with a game in hand against Sevilla.
GSFN | Finn Entwistle