Losing ‘El Clasico’ is never a fun experience. Moreover, when it’s in a knockout format, there is the feeling of getting the KO. But yesterday even the loss to our arch rivals couldn’t hide the enormous respect we should have to our coach and players. The team showed dedication, ambition, desire and ability to compete against a very tough opponent. After all the Barcelona squad went through this season, being able to compete vs Real Madrid can make us more optimistic. Especially with our main players just coming back from injuries.
The first half started with Real Madrid managing to get better chances. And eventually, it was them that took the lead after Busquets lost the ball. Vinicius got the ball and Araujo couldn’t catch him. 1-0 to Real Madrid. However, Luuk de Jong equalized right before half time. It was 1-1 at half time.
In the second half Xavi made two subs: Abde and Pedri replaced Frenkie and Ferran. And it worked, as Barcelona were the better team at the start of the second half. However, Madrid took the lead again and Barcelona had to chase the game. Luckily, Ansu Fati came in and scored a great header. 2-2 after 90 minutes. We’re going to extra time.
At Extra Time, it was fair to say that Barcelona were the better team. But again, a counter attack catches the team off guard, and Real Madrid scored the winner.
At the end, Real Madrid won the game, and Barcelona stayed with the compliments. That’s why, despite the loss, we’ll start with the good things to take from the game.
- For the first time in I don’t know how many months, Barcelona had a proper bench. With most of the squad fit, Xavi could actually change something during the game. And he did. The subs that the coach made, turned Barcelona into the better team vs Real Madrid. And that’s great, considering that we still have many things to fight for the rest of the season.
- Ronald Araujo, what a beast. Just few days after his operation, he was back in the starting lineup, playing 120. And boy, we needed him. Alongside veterans like Dani Alves, Pique and Albe, he was the only one who could actually stop Vinicius. And besides the first goal, The Uruguayan handled the Brazilian winger.
- Pedri and Ansu are back, and we’re automatically a lot better. With them, Memphis and Ferran on good form, we can expect our attack to be a lot better now. Great goal for Ansu, who was even close the score in the dying minutes of extra time.
- Ousmane Dembele : What you see is what you get. The winger lost the ball too many times, but he also created most of our dangerous attacks.
- 5th loss in a row for Barcelona vs Real Madrid, and that’s very bad. Hopefully, the streak will be over now, as we will be a lot better from now on.
- Dani Alves couldn’t keep up the pace vs Vinicius and Mendy. Luckily, most teams won’t have so much power on their left wing. However, it’s something to think about while looking forward. Moreover, let’s not forget that he played 3 matches in one week, after being out for months without playing football constantly.
- Memphis continues to look lost. Hopefully, he’ll be back to his form in the near future.
- Overall, it looks like Xavi is using Pique, Busquets Alba and now also Alves a lot. Rotation is important, and hopefully Xavi would know how to do that well.
Losing to Real Madrid is never a good thing for us FC Barcelona fans. However, the fact that as a team in transition, we played well vs a team in a much better form – is a good thing. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot from this, and the team will now improve.
We have enormous talent in our squad. So many exciting players. If Xavi would manage to keep the players on good form and fitness, and with the right signings we can be an elite team again by next season.