El Clasico Review

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0: match report

Sunday saw the biggest European club match take place at the Camp Nou, Barcelona and as I had done a preview of the game, I felt it only right to do a review of the game.

This season it had been billed as Madrid’s millions versus Barcelona’s cantera (youth academy), with no fewer than seven of Barcelona’s starting XI coming through the ranks.

It was an extremely tight game with only 6 shots in the whole of the game recorded to have hit the target. The first half offered limited opportunities though Madrid feel they could have scored in the first half a fact acknowledged by coach Manuel Pellegrini, who stated

We at least deserved a draw because, if I am not mistaken, we had a lot of shots on their goal in the first half.”

This was proving to be a game in which you had to take one of your chances with a tight score-line the probable outcome. It was proving to be a game full of passion, aggression and had a very stop-start feel to it.

After the break, Barcelona took the impetus to Madrid and the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (pictured above) from the substitutes bench, replacing Thierry Henry after 50 minutes, proved pivotal.

Within five minutes a delightful ball from the Brazilian, Dani Alves, found Ibrahimovic unmarked at the back post and he finished with a beautiful left-foot volley passed a stranded Iker Cassillas in the Madrid goal.

The game turned in Madrid’s favour just after the hour mark when Sergio Busquets was sent off for a second book-able offense and Madrid took the game to Barcelona, whilst striving for an elusive equalizer.

Madrid peppered the Barcelona goal from this point forward and were simply denied on several occasions, namely an outstanding performance from the Barcelona captain, Carlos Puyol (pictured above left). He was simply immense throughout and personified the passion of ‘El Clasico’.

This was much to the delight of a packed Camp Nou (98,000 to be precise) who also took this opportunity to jeer Cristiano Ronaldo with his every touch.

He must have felt like he was back in England!!

In the final minutes Lassana Diarra was sent off for Madrid for a second book-able offense and this took the pressure off Barcelona. Watching the final twenty-five minutes or so, I honestly felt Madrid would equalise and it would have only been what they deserved from the game.

At the final whistle, Barcelona had recorded their third straight win in ‘El Clasico’ and with this returned to the top of La Liga (Spanish first division) and continued to have the bragging rights over their bitter rivals.

If you have time, and maybe missed the game check out the highlights from the game, through the video footage below.

I want to leave you with two of my opinions;

  • Firstly, the people in the footballing world who think Ibrahimovic is over-rated, you really need to watch him play more, he is a fantastically gifted and hard-working footballer and as Barcelona boss, Pep Guardiola said:

“Ibrahimovic changed the game. This was a very good test for us. It’s always difficult against Madrid.”

  • Secondly this match was only available through Sky Sports interactive button for the first half, which I find an absolute disgrace and disrespectful to such a fixture. How is Andy Gray’s final word more important than the biggest game in European club football. It sums Sky Sports up for me.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be in touch soon.

Cheers.

Gaffers

P.s. Roll on Sunday 11th April for the return fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu. This could be the fixture that decides the La Liga title race.

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