El Clasico: Barca once again has Real’s number and it is 3-1


szólj hozzá: Real Madrid 1-3 Barcelona
There are fewer joys in the world than the spectacle of seeing Barca coming to the Santiago Bernabeu and beat the crap out of Jose Mourinho’s brownshirts. Which they proceeded to do summarily in the first edition of this year’s El Clasico.
Real is considered favorites to win La Liga and the Champions League this season but they need to solve the riddle that Barca poses them. A Victor Valdes error in the 1st minute led to a Karim Benzema strike. You could hear the collective thinking amongst the Merengues. This year it would be different. But Barca beyond that initial shocker went on to tighten their hold on the game and in the 30th minute, Leo Messi released El Maravilla with a beautifully timed pass and the Chilean striker finished superbly past Iker Casillas. The first half was a cagey but controlled affair. Both teams kept a tight lid on the playacting and gaming of the referee.
Barca came out in the second half as the midfield comprising Iniesta, Xavi, and Fabregas dictated the flow and tempo of the game. Pep Guardiola has found a way of injecting all three on the pitch without each one of them introducing redundancy. Barca went ahead after Sergio Ramos’s clearance went straight to Xavi whose volley was deflected into goal off Marcelo. For a whiff, you felt for Casillas. A dozen minutes later Fabregas throws himself in front of Pepe to head the ball from a Dani Alves cross. A header by Fabregas? Did we ever see that while he was at Arsenal?
At the other end, Cristiano Ronaldo was all pretty stepovers but his Barca neuroses continues as he contrived to miss the simplest off chances when Xabi Alonso from the left lofted a cross onto his head and with goal plumb in front his header went wide by a couple of feet. Not the best of evenings for the former Utd striker.
A magnificent victory for the Blaugrana. A word on Carles Puyol. How does he do it? He has the speed of a tortoise yet his head and arms grow into a thicket of ferociously tackling tentacles. Benzema, Higuain, Di Maria, and Ronaldo would run laps around this man before he takes a turn but the mane of hair has their number.

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