What a Game!
El-Clasico is presumed to be the creme de la creme of club football matches and although the quality of matches has deflated in comparison to before, Today’s match was an ode to the past with tribal rivalry on show.
As a raging storm tore through the Alfredo di Stefano, it was almost to mimic what would happen later on in the match. Pure Chaos. It’s a Clasico so this should be expected one may think. But the match was wet and chaotic with an ending so thrilling it makes you fall off your seat.
It was a classic Real Madrid under Zidane performance: supreme counter-attacking football. As Barcelona carried and passed the ball to their hearts will, Madrid sat and waited like a tiger waiting to prey on a deer. And they succeeded. El Pajarito(The little bird) as people like to call him, Fede Valverde, carried the ball like a soldier on a mission, running through 2 to pass to his right to Vasquez, who had acres of free space.
And then his pass being converted to the goal by a majestic flick courtesy of the in-form Karim Benzema (was there any doubt?). That was the turning point for Madrid, who still were behind in possession statistics, but used the ball so much more effectively and looked a real danger with every attack.
Barcelona upped the pace but was constantly stopped by the dynamic trio of Kroos-Casemiro-Modric, as proved by Casemiro being fouled more than any other RM player in the first half. As the ever charismatic Vinicius carried and dribbled the ball breaching the Barcelona defence, He was tripped, just outside the penalty box. Who would take the free-kick was on everyone’s mind and Kroos stepped up.
And stepped up did he. Hitting the ball hard that it then deflected to go into the back of the net. “Fortune favours the brave” as the saying goes. With that goal, Barcelona lost its sails and was like a child wandering alone in a vast street. Messi tried to score from the corner but to the luck of Courtois, it bounced off the post. With the referee’s whistle, the half concluded, With Koeman visibly fuming over his team’s performance.
The rain started to really hammer down at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, giving fans hope that the second half might be just as exciting and eventful as the first. Little did anyone know how chaotic it would be, right until the final whistle. Play got off to a slower start, but things picked up when Antoine Griezmann missed the target from very close range.
Only after a few moments did the in-form Benzema shoot over the post starting a chain reaction of events. As Alba crossed the ball towards the box, Antoine Griezeman, who was substituted in the second half, provided an intelligent dummy that made the ball go to the path of Óscar Mingueza’s shin and onto the net, just at the hour mark. 2–1. Game on.
With this started Barcelona’s dominance. Fiercely providing the ball to Alba and providing one dangerous cross after another which were frantically cleared by the Madrid defenders. Zidane understood something had to change. With Barcelona constantly charging for the 2nd goal, Zidane had a change of plans and substituted on Mariano, Isco, Marcelo and Asensio, in the hopes of turning the tide.
As the game went on, Madrid was hanging by the skin of their teeth. As the final minute started and Barcelona got a free-kick, there was a glimmer of hope, Which started an extraordinary chain of events. The ball crossed over and headed onto, Ilaix Moriba, who smashed the ball onto the post to the frustration of all Barcelona supporters.
The final whistle blew. Madrid won, putting them on top and having the satisfaction of defeating their great rivals over both ties in the league.
This El-Clasico was thrilling and alas had ended, with the current Champions on top.