Thomas Lemar has become a magnificent player for Atletico Madrid and he was in fine form as he helped Diego Simeone's side dismantle Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.
The Frenchman, along with Joao Felix and Luis Suarez, was one of the stars of the show as the Rojiblancos showed how ruthless they can be in attack.
Joao Felix was handed his first start of the season and it seemed to fill him with confidence. The Portuguese forward impressed from the early stages, looking for the ball and making things happen. It was his wonderful first touch which led to the opening goal. If he keeps playing like this, it will be hard to keep him on the bench.
Lemar has truly undergone a transformation in recent years and is now a key figure at Atleti, capable of influencing their play and impacting games, like he did on Saturday night with a goal and an assist. His emphatic finish for the opening goal left Marc-Andre Ter Stegan helpless despite his good positioning and strong figure. Later, his lofted pass allowed Suarez to saunter in on goal and pick his spot to kill the game.
It was written in the stars that Suarez was to score. The Uruguayan missed a massive chance at 1-0 when Felix played him in with a brilliant pass, but that was merely a warning shot and with his second chance his aim was true. Remember that Koeman ordered Suarez to train alone when he arrived at the club and now Suarez may have put another nail in the Dutchman's coffin.
Barcelona's defending was a gift to Atleti, whose precise, quick attacking and the chemistry of their forwards ensured they took full advantage. The Blaugrana full backs rushed out to close down Marcos Llorente and Yannick Carrasco, which left space for Felix and Lemar to capitalise on. Adding Suarez into the mix, it was simply too much for Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo to handle. Simeone had Koeman's number here and the latter had no answer.
If there are any rays of hope for Barcelona right now then perhaps they are shining from La Masia. Koeman trusted Gavi and Nico Gonzalez to start the match and both impressed with their football and character.
It's too easy to blame the situation surrounding Barcelona right now but the truth is that both their coach and players can and should be offering more than they are right now. More work and fewer excuses is what Barcelona need if they are to perform to their potential.
اخلاء مسئولية! : هذا المحتوى لم يتم انشائة او استضافته بواسطة موقع اخبار الكورة و اي مسؤلية قانونية تقع على عاتق الموقع مصدر الخبر : marca  , يتم جمع الاخبار عن طريق خدمة ال RSS المتاحة مجانا للجمهور من المصدر : marca  مع الحفظ على حقوق الملكية الخاصة بمصدر الخبر.