- Barcelona beats Atletico 2-1
- Atletico has two men sent off
- Messi and Suarez score for Barca
- Holder Arsenal through in FA Cup
(CNN)Barcelona took a giant step towards retaining the La Liga title with a 2-1 victory over nine-man Atletico Madrid in a crunch top of the table clash Saturday.
The two teams had gone into the match level on points, but with Barcelona having played a game less, and the importance of the fixture was underlined by the 94,990 best attendance of the season in the Nou Camp.
Victory took the Catalan giants three points clear and seven ahead of third-placed Real Madrid, which hosts Espanyol Sunday.
Diego Simeone's Atletico made the stronger start and took a deserved early lead through Koke, but two goals in eight minutes from the half hour mark, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on target, turned the match Barca's way.