Atletico Madrid closed to within a point of La Liga leaders Real Madrid when midfielder Tiago scored one goal and created another for Diego Godin in a 3-1 win for the champions at home to Malaga on Saturday.
An under-strength Barcelona got their Champions League campaign off to a solid if unspectacular start when Gerard Pique`s header gave them a 1-0 win at home to APOEL in their Group F opener on Wednesday.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted that the club would not let Luis Suarez`s transfer to Barcelona derail their ambitions and has urged the club`s fans to believe that there is life after the Uruguayan ace.
Barcelona were dealt with fresh blows after former manager, Tito Vilanova, died of cancer on Friday. The season has gone on a terrible note for the Catalans who have had a trophy-less campaign blended with several misfortunes.
Atletico Madrid remained on course for a surprise La Liga title triumph when Raul Garcia`s header secured a 1-0 victory for the leaders at home to Villarreal on Saturday as closest rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid also won.
Manchester City assistant manager Ruben Cousillas defended the decision to start with one striker against Barcelona on Wednesday after a 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp sent the Spanish side through to the Champions League quarter-finals.