Spanish football club Atletico Madrid picked up a valuable away point as they held Barcelona 1-1 at Camp Nou here.
The visitors deployed the suffocating defence on Wednesday that has made Atletico the least favourite opponent for star-studded attacking sides like Barca and Real Madrid.
Barcelona managed just three shots on goal in the first 40 minutes, all of them from a distance. Visiting keeper Jan Oblak turned aside efforts by Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, while a rocket from Neymar went just wide off the net.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 41st minute on a set piece, thanks to a magnificent header by Ivan Rakitic off a cross from Iniesta.
Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann sought to take the game to Barcelona in the early going after the half-time break, forcing Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make a stop on one occasion and lofting a ball harmlessly into the stands on his second try.
The first signs of trouble for Barca arrived in the form of injuries to Sergio Busquets, who went off in the 51st minute, and to Messi, who left just before the hour mark.
Smelling blood, Atletico coach Diego Simeone sent in Fernando Torres and Angel Correa to press for the equaliser. He didn’t have to wait long. Torres got the ball near midfield and fed it to Correa, and the Argentine exploited a miscue by defender Javier Mascherano to barge into the area and beat Ter Stegen with a low shot in the 61st minute.
Undaunted by the happening, Barca came roaring back with Neymar challenging Oblak twice.
Atletico, however, refused to cooperate and Diego Godin produced a corner for the
visitors with a thundering header that Ter Stegen had to stretch to tip over the cross-bar, taking more seconds off the clock.