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Suarez sparks Barca’s seven-game Atletico winning streak

07 April 2016, 09:43

Barcelona - Luis Suarez made the difference for Barcelona once more against Atletico Madrid as his second-half double handed the Catalans a 2-1 Champions League quarter-final, first leg lead.

Atletico complained Suarez was lucky to stay on the field after clashing with Juanfran and Filipe Luis either side of half-time, whilst Fernando Torres was shown no such mercy by German referee Felix Brych with two quickfire yellow cards that saw him dismissed shortly after firing Atletico into a 25th-minute lead.

Suarez's presence has completely turned around the rivalry between Spain's last two champions in the past two seasons.

Atletico went six games unbeaten against Barca on their way to winning La Liga and knocking the Catalans out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League in the 2013/14 season.

Since then, Barca have won all seven meetings between the sides.

Here, AFP Sports looks at how Suarez's partnership with Lionel Messi and Neymar has allowed Barca to regain the upper hand on Diego Simeone's side.

- Barcelona 3 Atletico Madrid 1, La Liga, January 11 2015

Barca came into this clash in the midst of a crisis having lost at Real Sociedad in their previous league game and with coach Luis Enrique apparently one more defeat away from the sack.

Instead, Suarez, Messi and Neymar all scored in the same game for the first time in La Liga to kickstart a run of 12 wins in 13 games that would eventually carry Barca to the title.

Also read: Barcelona trying to stay upbeat going into Atletico game

- Barcelona 1 Atletico Madrid 0, Copa del Rey, January 21, 2015

Just 10 days later the sides met again in the Copa del Rey with far fewer talking points as Atletico's defensive set-up frustrated Barca for 85 minutes until Messi stabbed in the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Jan Oblak.

- Atletico Madrid 2 Barcelona 3, Copa del Rey, January 28, 2015

One of a series of bad-tempered affairs between the two in recent seasons, Atletico ended with nine men and could have been even more depleted had now Barca midfielder Arda Turan not escaped with just a yellow card for throwing his boot towards an assistant referee.

Torres had raised hopes of an Atletico fightback when he netted inside the first minute before Neymar's equaliser left the hosts needing two more to progress.

Raul Garcia's penalty put them back in front, but a Miranda own goal and second from Neymar sealed the tie before half-time.

Atletico captain Gabi saw red during the break after clashing with Neymar before Mario Suarez was also dismissed for two yellow cards in the second half.

Atletico Madrid 0 Barcelona 1, La Liga, May 17, 2015

A year after Atletico won the title at the Camp Nou on the final day of the season, Barca got their revenge by sealing a 23rd La Liga crown thanks to Messi's sumptuous solo effort.

Atletico Madrid 1 Barcelona 2, La Liga, September 12, 2015

Messi only stated the next meeting at the Calderon on the bench a day after the birth of his second son, but he again proved the match winner by prodding home Suarez's layoff after Neymar's brilliant free-kick had cancelled out Torres's opener.

Barcelona 2 Atletico Madrid 1, La Liga, January 30, 2016

Atletico couldn't have started any better as their early dominance was rewarded with Koke's 10th-minute opener.

Yet, two brilliant goals by Messi and Suarez in an eight-minute spell turned the game around before Filipe Luis and Diego Godin were justly sent off either side of half-time to leave Atletico down to nine men once more.

Barcelona 2 Atletico Madrid 1, Champions League, April 5, 2016

Again Atletico went ahead as Torres punished some awful defending for his 11th goal against Barca, but the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker undid his good work by lunging in on Neymar and Sergio Busquets shortly after.

A second-half Barca onslaught ensued and Suarez finally made Atletico pay with two goals in 12 minutes to leave the tie finely poised.

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