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La Liga: Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 2

La Liga champions Barcelona came from behind with 10 men to beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.

Real Madrid handed Barcelona their 22nd title and fourth in five seasons after they were held to 1-1 draw at Espanyol on Saturday.
On a night of celebration, Barca were in a jubilant mood – and despite falling behind to a Radamel Falcao strike and losing Lionel Messi to injury, the visitors hit back courtesy of Alexis Sanchez and an own goal from Gabi to steal three points.
The Catalan side were welcomed onto the pitch with a guard of honour from the hosts, who secured third spot after a 3-1 win at Celta Vigo on Wednesday.
Diego Simeone selected a near-full strength squad but Mario Suarez was sidelined with a ligament injury and Diego Costa started on the bench after he suffered a knock midweek.
Messi had recovered from his hamstring problem to make the starting line-up for Barca, having emerged from the bench to score twice in the 4-2 win over Betis last Sunday, while Cesc Fabregas returned from suspension.
The two sides traded possession during the opening exchanges, before the first half-chance fell to Falcao, who fired straight at goalkeeper Pinto.
Fabregas then met a cross from Sanchez inside the area before Messi tried his luck with a free-kick.
Chances were few and far between in the opening 30 minutes but Atletico forward Adrian fired wide of the post, before Cristian Tello was denied by Miranda following a fantastic pass from Messi.
The best chance of the half fell to Barcelona just before the half-time whistle, but Tello curled his effort a few inches wide.
The visitors stepped up the tempo after the restart but Atletico managed to break forward and take their first real chance of the game in the 50th minute.
Gabi scuffed a loose ball into the path of Falcao on the edge of the Barca box, and the Colombian striker scored with a clinical finish.
Barca looked to make an immediate response but failed to find a breakthrough – and indeed the home side had a great chance to double their lead in the 66th minute when Falcao found Arda Turan in the box, but the Turkey international could not take the ball in his stride.
Barca’s challenge suffered a major blow with 20 minutes left when Messi limped off with an injury, and with Tito Vilanova having already made three substitutions they had to play out the final stages with 10 men.
However, the disadvantage did not matter as the visitors drew level with an unlikely equaliser in the 72nd minute.
Sanchez played a neat one-two with Fabregas inside the area before stabbing the ball into the bottom corner for his 10th goal of the season.
And barely had Atletico recovered from that when Barca took the lead in the 80th minute thanks to a slice of good fortune, after Tello raced to the byline and cut a great pass back inside to David Villa.
The substitute striker scuffed his effort but it took a huge deflection off the leg of Gabi and beat the helpless Thibaut Courtois to make it 2-1.
Atletico poured forward in search of an equaliser during the closing stages but Barca managed to hold on and remain on course to match the 100-point haul of Real from last season.
Sun 12 May, 2013
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