Madrid: AtlÃ©tico Madrid's ordeal against Barcelona continues in the Spanish league.
Lionel Messi made up for a lackluster performance by scoring in the 86th minute on Sunday, giving Barcelona a 1-0 win at AtlÃ©tico and extending the Catalan team's unbeaten run against the Madrid rival to 19 league matches.
"It's always a big advantage to have Messi in even games like these," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.
Messi struck with a low left-footed shot from outside the area after being set up by Luis SuÃ¡rez to keep Barcelona unbeaten against AtlÃ©tico for nine years.
"We played a great match, but when Leo shows up he can make a difference," AtlÃ©tico forward SaÃºl Ã'Ãguez said. "It's incredibly easy for him to do these things, that's why he is the best."
It was Messi's 30th career goal against AtlÃ©tico, which hadn't lost at home in 17 matches in all competitions.
"Messi appeared out of the match for a long time, but when he had a chance he broke free and scored a great goal," AtlÃ©tico coach Diego Simeone said.
The victory put Barcelona back at the top of the league above Real Madrid " which won at AlavÃ©s on Saturday " on goal difference.
AtlÃ©tico dropped to sixth place, six points behind Barcelona and Real Madrid which have a game in hand after their October clÃ¡sico was postponed until Dec. 18 because of a separatist rally in the Catalan capital.
Sevilla stayed third after beating last-place LeganÃ©s 1-0 earlier Sunday, while Real Sociedad is in fourth place after routing Eibar 4-1 on Saturday.
"The league is very long, we have to keep working to stay close to the leaders," Simeone said.
The match marked Antoine Griezmann's return to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium after being transferred to Barcelona at the end of last season. He was loudly jeered by most AtlÃ©tico fans nearly every time he touched the ball. The France striker had a quiet performance and never posed a significant threat.
AtlÃ©tico had most of the chances at the Metropolitano, but both teams squandered good opportunities throughout the match.
Each side hit the woodwork in the first half, and both goalkeepers " AtlÃ©tico's Jan Oblak and Barcelona's Marc-AndrÃ© ter Stegen " made some good saves to keep the game scoreless.
Messi broke the deadlock after an exchange with SuÃ¡rez, whose perfect touch just outside the box set up the playmaker's well-placed low shot.
AtlÃ©tico's last league win over Barcelona was in February 2010, a 2-1 victory at the now demolished Vicente CalderÃ³n Stadium. It hadn't lost at the Metropolitano since a game against Real Madrid in February.
Barcelona has won 14 matches against AtlÃ©tico since that loss in 2010, with five draws. AtlÃ©tico's last win against Barcelona in all competitions was a 2-1 result in the quarterfinals of the 2015-16 Champions League. AtlÃ©tico's worst streak against a single club is a 23-match winless run against Real Madrid from 2000 to 2013.
Sevilla stay close
Sevilla beat LeganÃ©s to keep pace with the leaders.
Brazilian defender Diego Carlos scored in the 63rd to give the team its fifth straight win in all competitions.
Julen Lopetegui's squad hasn't lost in 10 matches in all competitions, since a 4-0 rout at Barcelona in the league.
LeganÃ©s is at the bottom of the 20-team standings with six points from 15 matches. It hasn't won in five consecutive league games, with four losses and a draw. Three of the losses came against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla.
Athletic win again
Athletic Bilbao beat Granada 2-0 at home for its fourth straight victory.
RaÃºl GarcÃa scored from a penalty kick in the 41st and Yuri Berchiche sealed the win in the 83rd at the San MamÃ©s Stadium, putting Athletic in fifth place with 26 points, five behind Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Granada dropped to 10th place, with 21 points.
Espanyol remained winless in eight home matches in the league this season after a 4-2 loss to 10-man Osasuna, which played without defender Facundo Roncaglia from the 52nd because of a second yellow card for dangerous play.
Espanyol, which has lost four of its last five league games, stayed second to last with nine points. Osasuna, which had one win in its last four league games, jumped to ninth place.
Also, seventh-place Getafe routed 11th-place Levante 4-0 will all goals coming in the second half.