A fiery, thrilling clash between Barça and Real Madrid ends in an unfortunate and painful 2-1 defeat for the blaugrana. This puts an end to our 19-game unbeaten run in the league. Moreover, it keeps us one point behind not only Atlético, but also Real Madrid.
The first half was horrible. Just like in the first leg against PSG, Barça tried to be aggressive with their pressure. that’s impossible when Leo Messi and Ousmane Dembélé are the players up front. The midfield pushed very far up the field, leaving so much space between the lines that it could pretty much be considered a criminal offence. Real Madrid, on the other hand, were constantly getting in behind, exploiting the mistakes of the whole backline and midfield. The score was already 2-0 by half time, and this is where we deserved to be.
In the second period, the players were greeted by torrential rain that struck Madrid. The weather made it barely feasible for any side to progress with the ball. Antoine Griezmann, who came on at half time, did really well to open up space. Mingueza of all people was open to shoot, and the youngster brought us back into it. Barça dominated the 2nd half of the clash. But as we have often seen this year, fell just short of the equaliser. Yet a late red card for Casemiro and a set piece for Leo Messi to deliver made this one of the most thrilling endings to el Clasico that you’ll see. Lenglet flicked the ball to Ilaix, whose thunderbolt bounced off the crossbar and straight to Ter Stegen. His brilliant volley could have actually gone in yet it was Trincão who was in the way.
Tactics are a matter for another discussion. As this piece would have been huge if I tried to fit them in here. What matters is that we have suffered another setback in our title fight. Therefore, it will now be extremely difficult to bounce back.