As two of the biggest clubs in Spanish football, the Rojiblancos and the Blaugrana have played out some classics over the years. Here are five of the best.
Atleti won their fourth league title in the 1950/51 season, buoyed by a statement win in just the second round of the season. After losing their opener against Athletic Club by a 4-0 scoreline, Los Rojiblancos needed a response when they hosted Barcelona the following week. They did exactly that.
Barça took an early lead through Marcos Aurelio after just three minutes but Atleti his five without reply through Adrián Escudero, Rafael Mújica, Durán, Henry Carlsson and Escudero to put themselves 5-1 up after 50 minutes. There were still four goals to be scored – three from Barcelona (a César Rodríguez brace and another from Aurelio) and one from Atlético’s José Juncosa – making for an incredible final score of 6-4.
Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona were at their best in a Copa del Rey meeting with Atlético in February 1993. They won the first leg at the old Vicente Calderón stadium by a 5-0 scoreline, with two goals from Michael Laudrup and another three from Txiki Begiristain, Julio Salinas and Dutchman Richard Witschge.
They went one better at the Camp Nou, however, picking up a 6-0 victory to complete an almost unbelievable 11-0 aggregate scoreline. Begiristain and Salinas got on the scoresheet again, as did Albert Ferrer, Òscar and Goran Vučević (2).
Atléti enacted revenge for their Copa del Rey humiliation three years later, topping Barcelona in the 1996 final at R. Zaragoza’s La Romareda stadium.
1996 would prove Cruyff’s last season in charge in the Catalan capital, but was one to remember for Atleti, as they completed the only league and cup double in their history.
The 90 minutes finished with the scores locked at 0-0, but Atleti came out on top in extra time thanks to Milinko Pantic’s 102nd minute header past keeper Carlos Busquets, the father of current Barça star Sergio Busquets.
Atleti won a first LaLiga title since their double-winning 1995/96 season at the Camp Nou in dramatic style on the final day of the campaign. Diego Simeone’s side travelled to Catalonia knowing that a win or a draw would be enough to secure the championship; Barça, on the other hand, would make the trophy theirs with a win on home soil.
Although the home side went ahead in the 34th minute through an Alexis Sánchez rocket, Diego Godín headed home from a corner four minutes after the break to level the scores. It remained 1-1, with Atlético putting in a strong defensive shift and earning a standing ovation from the Barcelona supporters.
Exactly one year to the day after Atleti’s title-winning result at the Camp Nou, Barça won the LaLiga Santander trophy back at the Vicente Calderón.
A delightful second-half goal from Lionel Messi saw the Catalans pick up a 1-0 away win to wrap up the title with a week to spare, ultimately beating Real Madrid by two points.
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