Dembele saves Barcelona with late equaliser from the bench

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Ousmane Dembele came off the bench to snatch a point for Barcelona as the La Liga leaders drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Atletico took the lead in the 77th minute when Diego Costa headed home at the far post with the game’s first shot on target.

Barca managed to avoid suffering back-to-back league defeats, though it came when substitute Dembele scored in the final minute of the match after good work from Lionel Messi.

Positives

This was a drab game that neither side deserved to win. Atletico nearly did nick it, though, so Barca will be relieved not to have lost. Despite the nature of the game, there were some good moments in the first half. The Catalans survived the Atletico press well and looked more organised in defence.

However, the big positive came in the form of Dembele. He’s been in the news recently because of missing a training session earlier this month, but his talent once again did the talking here. As soon as he came on, he provided a threat and he took his goal well. He has now had a major impact in games against Atletico, Sevilla, Real Valladolid, Real Sociedad, Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.

Negatives

Barca improved in defence, but coach Ernesto Valverde will be disappointed that the clean sheet eluded them. That’s now 11 games in a row without one in the league.

There was also a lack of spark in attack. While they rarely looked like conceding, they rarely looked like scoring. Most of their best chances came from set pieces. That’s not the Barca most supporters want to see.

Manager rating out of 10

5 — Valverde packed the midfield, but that only served to neuter his side’s attacking threat and, in a way, played into Diego Simeone’s hands. He turned to the pace of Dembele and Malcom once his side fell behind, despite Atletico shutting up shop and closing down the space. Was lucky that Dembele got him out of jail.

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