Barcelona will be facing one of their nemesis this season – Atletico Madrid – in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and midfielder Cesc Fabregas has already said that this is one of the opponents they were looking to avoid at this stage of the competition. Atletico Madrid have been one of the finest teams in Spain over the last few years, but they have gone to another level this year due to the goals from Diego Costa. Unlike in previous years, Costa has been able to score on a consistent basis and this has allowed Atletico to maintain their position at the top of the table.
Barcelona have long dominated Spanish football with their possession style of football, but if there is one manager who has found a way to counter-attack this style, it is Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid. The Argentine has come up against Barcelona four times already this season. He has suffered just one defeat in these matches. Simeone famously has said ahead of the first leg that Barcelona know how to keep the ball, while Atletico are aware how to defend the spaces on the pitch.
The first leg between the two clubs ended in a 1-1 draw and Fabregas says that Barcelona are now under tremendous pressure to score in the second leg.
“It will be a very difficult match, but we have the team to beat Atletico. We have to compete hard and we have the players that are more than capable to do that. We don’t enjoy playing Atletico. They have a very well-defined style. Tomorrow we have to play like Barcelona more than ever. We need to score if we want to remain a big club and move to semis,” said Fabregas.
Barcelona recently managed a 4-3 win over Real Madrid in which Lionel Messi appeared to come back to form.