Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona came from behind to win the Champions League quarter-final first leg 2-1 at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.
Fernando Torres opened the scoring for the visitors in the 25th minute, with a delightful finish after holding on to a through ball from Koke, for his 19th Champions League goal.
He however, went from hero to villain ten minutes later, when two reckless tackles saw him sent off.
The Catalans capitalised on the advantage to turn up the pressure on the visitors, with Diego Simeone’s side lucky to be ahead at the break.
Lionel Messi came close to leveling the game early in the second half after converting a fine overhead kick and Neymar hit the crossbar.
Barcelona broke Atletico’s resistance when Suarez diverted Jordi Alba’s low cross home with his shin and then powered into the area to head Dani Alves’ cross past Jan Oblak to score the winner with his eighth Champions League goal this season.
“The only downside is we didn’t score another goal, which would have helped us a lot,” Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said.
“We feel positive because the result is in our favour, we have won again and beaten Atletico again, a team that makes things extremely difficult.”
Atletico coach Simeone said: “We are still alive in the tie.
“They had a chance to score another goal with an extra man and they didn’t, so that gives us hope and belief. The second leg is going to be a great game.
“This is one of the worst days of my life as a footballer,” Torres admitted afterwards.
“I am sad to have left the team with 10 [men].
“In a way I feel responsible for the team not winning. I am certain that with 11 it would have been totally different.
“But I am proud to play in this team. The result is not all bad. At the Calderon, anything is possible.”
The return leg is at Atletico’s Vicente Calderon Stadium next week Wednesday, April 13.
Elsewhere, Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich defeated Portuguese side Benfica 1-0 at the Allianz Arena, in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Arturo Vidal’s early goal gave five-time winners victory, after heading home Juan Bernat’s cross.