Dani Alves scores and is sent off as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid in La Liga

Xavi's side move up to fourth in table after 4-2 victory in thriller at Camp Nou

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Dani Alves scored his first La Liga goal in since 2013 but was also sent off as Barcelona defeated Atletico Madrid 4-2 on Sunday.

The result ended Barcelona's five-game winless streak against Atletico in all competitions and allowed the Catalan club to overtake Diego Simeone’s team and move into fourth place in the league.

“The team, the fans and the club in general needed a win like this,” said Barca manager Xavi Hernandez. “It could be a turning point, we can't hold back now.”

Atletico took an early lead through Yannick Carrasco but Barcelona came storming back, Alba equalising with surely one of the goals of the season before Gavi, Ronald Araujo and Alves all struck to leave Atletico facing a humiliating loss.

But Luis Suarez headed in against his former club and Alves was sent off as tempers flared, but Barcelona held on, with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang coming on off the bench to make his debut in the second half.

It was another January signing, Adama Traore, who made the biggest impact with an electric first-half performance.

Barca came into the game on the back of a hectic transfer window that also saw Ferran Torres brought in.

Traore, a La Masia graduate, and Torres both started but Aubameyang was only deemed fit enough for the bench.

Atletico were ahead on eight minutes but the rest of the first half belonged to Barca, with Traore at the heart of it.

He was involved in Alba's equaliser with his cross poked out to Alves, who floated the ball to the opposite side, where Alba had time to adjust his feet and let fly with a stunning volley that flew over Jan Oblak and into the far corner.

Barcelona were on top and Traore was in full flow. He stopped Mario Hermoso, then surged past him, lifting a cross into the area where Gavi headed home.

With Atletico hoping for the half-time whistle, Barcelona struck again, Alves' chip headed on to the crossbar and the ball bouncing up for Araujo to smash in.

Just after the break, it was four, Gavi's cutback finding Alves, who arrowed a finish into the corner for his first Barca league goal since 2013.

But the party atmosphere was popped when Suarez reduced the gap to two by heading in from close range.

Aubameyang briefly broke the tension by coming on for Traore to rapturous applause but Alves was then sent off after scraping his studs down the back of Carrasco's leg.

Atletico had 20 minutes to score two and the game almost boiled over when Xavi's assistant Oscar Hernandez was shown a red card for his protests and Xavi saw yellow.

Updated: February 06, 2022, 6:30 PM
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