Jan Oblak's brilliance helped Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid hold Barcelona to a goalless draw to retain the top spot in La Liga.
Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is considered one of the most popular footballers out there. Messi’s dribbling and awe-inspiring creativity have resulted in a loyal fanbase, which backs him through thick and thin. The Argentine superstar gave the masses another display of his sublime prowess during a crucial La Liga encounter against Atletico Madrid. The 33-year-old left five defenders in no position to react, cutting inside from the right touchline with the ball glued to his feet. Messi unleashed a shot from the edge of the penalty area, with his effort denied an opportunity to hit the net following an extraordinary save by Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. Oblak dived to his left to get a fingertip on the shot, with Barcelona unable to take advantage of the resultant corner. The scoreline continued to remain at 0-0 till the conclusion of the game, but what will certainly remain alive in the memories of the fans in the years to come would be the brilliance of the duo.
Two geniuses doing their thing…
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) May 8, 2021
Atletico Madrid went on to record six shots on target in the opening 45 minutes of the game. That represents the most shots on target by a team in the first half of a game against Barcelona this season in all competitions. It further marked the most shots on target by the Madrid-based side in the first half at Camp Nou since at least 2003/04.
The game also recorded 50 appearances in the La Liga for Kieran Trippier, who moved to Atletico Madrid from English side Tottenham Hotspur. However, what the game did not witness was an appearance for former Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic. Pjanic had not played a minute in Barcelona’s last 10 La Liga games, having been taken off at half-time with the scoreline reading 0-0 in a home clash to Elche.
The La Liga is in for a tight finish this season having witnessed Atletico Madrid drop points from an extremely favourable scenario. Barcelona, Real Madrid and even Sevilla are in contention in Spain, which is certainly a lovely sight for fans. In a league that has been dominated by only two teams, some fierce competition is certainly a boost in the right direction.