Diego Costa was sent off in the 28th minute for Atletico Madrid for abusing the referee, and while it looked like the visitors would miraculously hang on at the Camp Nou, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were on hand to bail out the Blaugrana with goals in the final five minutes to give Barcelona a 2-0 win and all but secure the La Liga title.
After going up a man, Barcelona put together a stellar attacking display but just couldn’t get over the hump with the visitors packing things in in front of net. Ultimately, Barcelona completed 250 of 297 passes in the attacking third and ripped off 21 shots with 10 on target. Messi had five of the team’s 10 shots on target and also created three chances.
They finally broke through in the 85th minute as Luis Suarez at the top of the box touched inside to his right foot before unleashing a shot that found the back of the net and broke the deadlock. Once Atletico conceded, they fell apart.
Immediately off the restart, Messi put the game away as he burst down the right before slowly making his way towards the middle, and while Jose Gimenez initially produced a tackle to dispossess Messi in the box, the Barcelona star snatched the ball right back and buried a shot.
The win put Barcelona up 11 points at the top of the table, leaving them in prime position to win the La Liga title for the sixth time in the last 10 years. Atletico Madrid now sits in second with 62 points, two above Real Madrid. The victory also made Lionel Messi the winningest player in La Liga history, passing Iker Casillas for his 335th career league win.