Adama Traore had an eventful FC Barcelona debut as his side claimed an impressive 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid to climb up to fourth in the Spanish La Liga.
After the build-up to the match had been amplified by a direct verbal attack on Barcelona boss Xavi by his Atletico Madrid counterpart Diego Simeone, the clash at the Nou Camp became much more interesting to onlookers.
Xavi was able to hand a debut to ex-Wolves winger Adama Traore, who started alongside fellow January signing Ferran Torres and teenage sensation Gavi in attack.
The home side were, however, stunned inside eight minutes as Belgian winger Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco put the champions in front.
A brilliant spell of one-touch passing and keeping the ball ended with Atleti captain Koke playing a defence-splitting pass to find the run of Luis Suarez on the right, and Suarez crossed low for Ferreira-Carrasco to tuck home and tidy finish past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
Barcelona were not behind for long as they mustered a response in brilliant fashion just two minutes after going behind.
An attack down the right flank saw an attempted Traore pass intercepted and Dani Alves picked up the loose ball before sending in a measured cross to the back post where the arriving Jordi Alba volleyed home brilliantly for his first La Liga goal of the season.
Barcelona were not resting on their oars and soon got themselves in front to send the Camp Nou crowd into raptures. Adama Traore sent in a brilliant cross that was met by the leaping teenager Gavi, who directed his header beyond the reach of Jan Oblak in the 21st minute.
The home side retained control of proceedings and duly doubled their advantage with only two minutes of the first half remaining. Ronald Araujo was on hand to smash home from close range after he was set up by Ferran Torres, and Barcelona were in cruise control.
Barcelona started the second half as they ended the first, this time, battle-hardened 38-year-old Dani Alves scored his first goal since returning to the club in the 50th minute. The Brazilian was on hand to fire in a rocket of a shot from just inside the box after an effort from Ferran Torres was blocked and fell into his path.
Barcelona from a goal down were leading the champions 4-1 with an incredible display, but Atletico would not go down without a fight and pulled one back in the 58th minute.
Luis Suarez showed his poacher’s instinct to home home a header after a corner kick was flicked on by Jose Maria Gimenez, cutting the deficit to just two goals.
The home crowd gave Adama Traore a standing ovation as he was withdrawn in the 60th minute to hand former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang his debut in a Barcelona shirt.
Barcelona were reduced to 10 men in the 69th minute after Alves committed a dangerous foul on goalscorer Ferreira-Carrasco and received a straight red card. The Blaugrana held on for a morale-boosting win over Atletico Madrid that puts them in fourth place in La Liga.