Disappointing game really. Disappointing in the sense that Real Madrid made loads of great chances and the names who got those chances should have finished those chances but they did not and naturally that cost us the match. Hats off to Barcelona, they really outplayed Real Madrid, but Real Madrid only survived a Barcelona mauling because of pure will and determination. We could not compete with Barcelona on anything except at the physical level, they had far superior techniques and strategies, I am just glad and there are many positives that Real Madrid can take from this game.
Here are my notes from the game and I will try to post another POST which would be a bit more organised this one but you know, after every loss in El Classico, I get down so low that my mind just stops thinking and that is the reason why I could not write a review on the game, this post is more like a , live commentary on the game along with some thoughts I had as the game progressed, So please, forgive me for my numerous grammatical errors in this post but this post will make sense, that I guarantee:
(The second half is not too detailed as I was completely in shock as to how a stupid cross found Ibrahamovic who (despite being a big guy) sneaked behind everybody inside the penalty area, unchallenged for an easy volley).
The lineups for both the teams were not surprising apart from the fact that Real Madrid decided to start with Higuain and Marcelo instead of Van Der Vaart (yeah I know, but I just love him as a player because when he is in form there are very few players who can orchestrate the game as he can) and Benzema. Barcelona also made a mistake in my opinion of starting with Henry instead of Ibrahamovic.
Real Madrid Line up:
Barcelona Line Up
Its Half time and the score is still 0-0. I ask, who in the heck in his right mind would have predicted this scoreline at half time in a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. This really shows that Real Madrid’s defense not its weak link as most people (especially in EPL) like to think so. Barcelona have, by far, the best attacking pairs in the world in Messi, Henry, Iniesta, Zlatan and Xavi. Where the combination of Iniesta and Xavi is so potent, I bet these two could find each other even if the floodlights were turned off at the Nou Camp.
Real Madrid should have scored in the first half, they had the best of the chances. Barcelona did play some nice moves but not a single one resulted in shot on goal of Real Madrid. Ronaldo was fouled at every opportunity he got the ball, same was the case with Messi.
Serrgio was lucky that he did not receive a color known as YELLOw for a foul on Ronaldo from behind. The opening half was all tight affair. The ball stayed in the middle of the park alot of times.
Kaka made a spectacular move in the 19nth minute and setup ronaldo for an easy chance but Victor Valdes made a incredible save. I couldnt believe how Ronaldo missed that. Kaka had worked so hard to open up Barcelon a’s defense, only to see Ronaldo waste the opportunity and that should be unforiviable for a player of Ronaldols class. Kaka setup another goldern opportunity for Marcelo but Marcelo’s touch was too heavy and messed up.
I wanted to kill Marcelon at that moment. Puyol, one of the best defender in Europe, also made a spectacular block in that. Barcelona only had some nice plays with no end product because of superior position of Casillas as compared to Victor Valdes while defending.
XabiAlonsoplayed the anchorman in the midfield with Diarra making all the tough tackles on Messi and Xavi. Barcelona tried to mix up their strategies. They changed positions alot. At one point, iniestra and henry were playing on the left and Messi was playing in the middle, but to the dismay of Barcelona fans, they were unable to hurt Real Madrid as Real Madrid looked extremely sharp in defence. Notice that I did not say the world organised or composed because Real Madrid defense lacked these two things completely. We gave away the ball plenty of times in dangerous positions but thankfully Barcelona were not able to capitalise on those mistakes.
I loved the way Pelligrini used the combination of Xabi and Diarra to counter that of Xavi, Iniesta nad Keita. Though I did not like the fact that he played Higuain instead of Benzema. There were some long passes that Xabi made with imaculant accuracy to which Higuain didnt get to and I would have thought that Benzema’s pace would have been sufficient in those areas.
First half weak link for Real Madrid by far was Marcelo. Missed two easy chances. Messed up attacking moves started by Ronaldo and Kaka. Was a obstacle in the defense as well as he lost the ball plenty of times.
Barcelona made the mistake in that they played Henry instead of Ibra. Henry is not the old Henry, he does not have the pace anymore, that clearly showed when he lost a “chase the ball” race to Pepe. Ibrahamovic though does not has speed but could have atleast played as the target man upfront.
In the first half the likes of Lionel Messi and Ronaldo did not live up to the international brands that both of these have become. Barcelona are arguably the best team in Europe at the moment and Real Madrid showed that, they are not far behind too. Barcelona did not play to their potential, thats true, but what one does not notice at first is that Real Madrid did not allowBarcelonatoplaytheirgameinthe