Here we are, El Clasico. Barca vs Real Madrid
The greatest club football match in all of club football. Two gargantuan clubs, one competitive title race that is sure to go down until the final few matches of the season.
Let’s see how it went down.
The first half saw Barca immediately control possession.
That was a given due to Real Madrid’s love for the counter attack. But the early possession advantage gave Barca a chance to step on Madrid’s throat early.
Unfortunately for them, that wasn’t the case. As Madrid took advantage on an early counter to open the scoring.
Benzema opens the scoring
Vinicius Jr. ran quickly down Barca’s right flank. He got past most of Barca’s defense before ultimately taking a shot on goal.
The shot was saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. But the rebound fell back into play and into the shooting area of Karim Benzema.
Benzema then fired on an open net and gave Madrid an early 1-0 lead.
Madrid didn’t take their foot off the gas either. As they scored another goal 20 minutes later to make it a 2-0 lead.
Valverde makes it 2 for Madrid
Federico Valverde received a gorgeous pass at the top of Barca’s penalty area.
He took some time to ready himself. Then he fired a powerful shot past Ter Stegen to make it 2-0 Madrid.
At this point, Barca just looked lifeless. They were sloppy in defense, sloppy moving forward, and sloppy when they were pressing to get the ball back.
It felt like it would take a miracle for Barca to get back into this match. Even with halftime adjustments and eventual substitutions, it just didn’t feel like it was possible.
However, the second half still presented Barca with an opportunity. Would Barca seize it and make things better for themselves?
Well, they sort of did.
The second half was more balanced. As Madrid found ways to keep possession a little bit more.
Although Barca found more success going forward, and that was due to the substitutions Barca made. Dembele and Raphinha were each taken off in the second half. With Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres replacing them.
Those two young wingers came on and provided an instant spark.
Including scoring Barca’s only goal of the match.
Ferran Torres gives Barca a goal
The action started with Fati, who made a tremendous run on the left flank. He got past a few Madrid defenders and got into Madrid’s penalty area.
Fati then squared a pass for anyone who could reach it. The man to do so was Lewandowski, who flicked the ball with his feel to a wide open Torres.
All Torres had to do was hit the open net and that he did.
The goal gave Barca some hope, especially since the attack was more fluid during the last 20 minutes of the match. But that hope was short lived, as a late penalty gave Madrid another goal to make it 3-1.
Ending all hopes of a Barca come back.
The match ended after that and disappointment once again ensued.
This was simply another example of Barca’s recent poor form.
No enthusiasm in the attack, poor defending, no intensity, it just felt lifeless from Barca. Sergio Busquets put in another bad shift, and the reasons were the same as before.
No athleticism to track back defensively, contributing nothing in the attack. The forward play was bad too, aside from the youngsters that came on in the second half.
Ousmane Dembele was useless, Raphinha was decent but still couldn’t be dangerous as a goal threat, even Robert Lewandowski looked lifeless again.
But nothing was more depressing than the shambolic defensive effort today. Eric Garcia was once again exposed as a liability against decent competition. Sergi Roberto wasn’t all that great either, although I can’t really fault him given the outrageous task he was given today.
Honestly, this match was sad from a Barca perspective.
Who knows if there will be positive changes moving forward. But there needs to be, because this club is in some very serious danger right now.
Barca’s next match
Barca’s next match is against Villareal on October 20th.
See you all then!