Barcelona endured a wretched evening as Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid claimed a victory over the Catalans at their 18th attempt in LaLiga.
A single goal from Yannick Carrasco in first-half stoppage time was sufficient to win the match for Atleti.
Meanwhile, Barca were unable to create many clear scoring opportunities as the pressure mounts on Ronald Koeman after what was a miserable night at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Things started to unravel for the Camp Nou side on the stroke of half-time. A disjointed game was suddenly broken open when Marc-Andre ter Stegen charged 40 yards from his line to try to claim the ball, only for Carrasco to slip by him and convert into an empty net.
There was little revolt from Barcelona, who saw matters take a desperate twist after the hour mark when Gerard Pique was stretched off with a knee injury that early reports suggest could see him miss between four to six months. Clement Lenglet is currently Barca’s only fit centre-back.
No further response came from Koeman’s side, who trudged off the field and refused to give any post-match interviews to Spanish TV. A fine is likely to follow, and while it will be a derisory sum, the Catalans can ill-afford to squander their money in the manner they are currently squandering points.
Through eight matches of the season, they have already suffered three defeats, all of which have arrived in their last five league outings.
Already an eight-point chasm has opened up to Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad at the summit of the standings.
An already dark mood around Camp Nou has only grown darker.