Barcelona put forth arguably Xavi’s best performance of his career, defeating Atletico Madrid 4-2 to make a statement.
In the build-up, Diego Simeone brought up Xavi’s previous criticism of Atletico’s style of play, but the latter had the last laugh at Camp Nou, as Barca leapfrogged Los Colchoneros into fourth position.
Yannick Carrasco’s well-worked opener gave the visitors a bright start, but Barca were quickly ahead thanks to Jordi Alba’s brilliant volley and a Gavi header.
Just before halftime, Ronald Araujo extended Barca’s lead, and Dani Alves scored his first goal since his comeback.
Luis Suarez equalized against his former team, and Alves was sent off, but Barcelona went on to win deservedly.
Suarez grabbed onto Koke’s wonderful ball and passed Carrasco into the box, where the Belgian swept his first-time effort into the bottom-left corner to give Atletico the lead.
Dani Alves crossed to the left and Jordi Alba met it with a magnificent sliced volley that spun high into the far corner of the net, bringing them back within two minutes.
Soon after, another Barca cross proved pivotal as the hosts took the lead, newcomer Adama Traore’s exquisite pass being nodded in by Gavi.
Late in the half, Araujo made it 3-1 with a close-range goal after Ferran Torres headed Alves’ free-kick onto the crossbar.
Early in the second half, Alves became the fourth-oldest player to score in LaLiga this century, hammering home from Alba’s cut-back.
Suarez headed in for Barcelona, and Alves was sent off for dragging his studs down Carrasco’s calf, but Atletico could not recover a result.
Source: Livescore news.