Barca- Atleti : What changed? Or did it?

Barca defeated Atleti in a must-win game with a much-needed but less-expected uptick in form and formation. We look at some of the data to shed some light

The ball was zipping around. Once again. Smart triangles. Short passes. Quick 1-2's. Quick transitions. Fast movements. Control. Tempo. Pausa.

Many die-hard Barca fans had not expected this. More so against Atleti, the most in-form team in the league at the moment. The lingering hope was that Barca would somehow nick a win against the run of play, but the gnawing fear was that this would be a loss and a season-defining one.

The opening 45 minutes proved to be anything but. The Barca midfield, the engine room of every good Barca side, was humming again. There had been a billion theories on why, with players of the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Pedri and Frenkie De Jong, Barca's midfield had been anonymous for the majority of the season, but in this game, against Atleti, all those theories were forgotten as these insanely technical players suddenly found their groove back.