Has Barcelona turned things around already?

Barcelona had much to celebrate at the Camp Nou Sunday, scoring four times to defeat Atletico de Madrid. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)
Barcelona had much to celebrate at the Camp Nou Sunday, scoring four times to defeat Atletico de Madrid. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) /
Barcelona beats Atleti
Dani Alves celebrates after scoring Barcelona’s fourth goal against Atletico de Madrid. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Barcelona climbs into LaLiga top 4 with win over Atletico Madrid

A victory over Atlético de Madrid might be just what Barcelona needed to turn their season around.

Okay, I might be overreacting over what happened at the Camp Nou, but we can’t deny that Barcelona really looked like a bulldozer out there against a great team such as Atlético de Madrid.

A 4-2 victory over the defending LaLiga champions has to be a statement that you can turn the page after that slump you were in the past few weeks, if not months. With the win, the Blaugranas leapfrog Atleti in the standings, reaching 38 points to climb into fourth place. They still are 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid, but only two away from third place, and for now are within the Champions League places.

We must point out that almost all the club’s newest signings impressed. Ferrán Torres, Adama Traore and Dani Alves all had assists, plus Alves also scored — his first with the club since the 2015/16 season, and first versus the Colchoneros since 2012.

The goal made Alves the oldest player to score for Barcelona in an official game (38 years, 276 days old). He also ended up seeing a red card, becoming the first Barcelona player to score, assist and get ejected since Stoichkov in 1994, against Atlético de Madrid as well.

It was good to see Xavi’s newest players helping the club, especially since the team seemed to be having an identity crisis, lacking a star player to carry this team.

There’s no doubt Xavi wants to restore the football that saw him win all those titles as a player. Back then, La Masía was the keystone for the Cules’ success, producing players such as Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Xavi himself and a guy named Lionel Messi.

After Ansu Fati received the number 10, we expected him to be the La Masía’s alumnus who would carry the team. But since his injury, other young players are showing up and this time it was Gavi.

The 17-year-old (and185 days) scored the go-ahead goal in the first half to become the second youngest player to score against Atlético in La Liga, just behind the legendary Raúl who did it at 17 years and 131 days.

This was Barcelona’s first important victory all season. Of its last 10 decisive games, Barcelona had lost eight and drawn two. In those games, we highlight a 2-0 defeat against Atlético earlier in the season and two losses against arch rival Real Madrid.

As I said above, I might be overreacting about the win, especially if we take into consideration that the Colchoneros always struggle at the Camp Nou. With Sunday’s loss, they have now gone 22 games without a victory (0-8-14). Their last win at the Camp Nou came on Feb. 5, 2006.

It’s hard to say with any certainty whether Barcelona has truly ended its slump. But the Culés have a seven-game unbeaten streak in LaLiga heading into the Catalan Derby against Espanyol. With 15 games remaining, Barça might be alive but it will depend on others to have a chance.

Next. Puebla, Atlas joint top of Liga MX table. dark

The Blaugrana also play the first leg of the Europe League against Napoli next week. Knocked out of Champions League, they have to put all their cards on the table against the Italian side if they wish to have some hardware this season.