Saturday’s clasico between the two soccer heavy weights Real Madrid and Barca once again delivered an outstanding soccer event worth watching. Saturday’s winner: Real Madrid. With a deserved win over their rival from Barcelona, Real has more or less secured the championship in La Liga. With four games left, Real is seven points ahead of Barca and can only lose the title if Christmas and Easter fall on the same day.
Sami Khedira put Real up, while Alexis goal tied the game for a few minutes until Cristiano Ronaldo took Oezil’s master pass and secured the win for Real.
The much anticipated clash between the giants demonstrated that Barca can be beaten at Camp Nou. While Barca dominated possession, Real, like Chelsea in the middle of the week, controlled the game from a defensive position. With Real shutting down the major supply lines Messi, Xavi and Iniesta, Barca couldn’t develop the grip it takes to break the Real defense. Dangerous attacking by Real also kept Barca honest when it comes to establishing overwhelming pressure. Very rarely was Barca able to confuse Real’s defense and when it happened the few opportunities were generously wasted.
Jose Mourinho, who is in the firing line of the press for month, should have a good night sleep and sweet dreams for the night. The Portuguese is on the hitlist of the entire soccer press around the world after deciding not to speak to the press anymore. Since soccer knowledge is usually low in the soccer press, but personal revenge need high, the coach had to listen and read all kind of nonsense over the past weeks. Since the midweek loss at Bayern Munich the heat has turned up and the press claimed and reported all kind of stuff from tactical mistakes to personal issues and back. The win against Barca and the win of La Liga should ease the pressure for the Portuguese, at least until the second leg champions league semi final against Bayern Munich.
Real is facing Bayern Munich on Wednesday and Real is under pressure to overcome a 2-1 deficit in order to reach the champions league final. With Saturday’s presentation against Barca, Real should be ready for the Germans.
Barca on the other hand has to overcome a few other obstacles in order to reach the final. It will be interesting to see how the success spoiled team is dealing with a mini crisis after two consecutive losses in major games. Failing to overcome the 1-0 deficit against Chelsea on Tuesday will leave the Catalan’s with nothing else than the Copa del Rey, or even nothing. The same result has left Real on the receiving end of healthy laughter from parts of the press last year.
It is very well possible that the dream of a champions league final between Real and Barca will be busted in the coming week. Bayern Munich and Chelsea are travelling to Spain with the determination to defend their lead and will fight with the knife between their teeth. Both have major motivations and issues themselves and are fighting for European participation next season and in Bayern’s case, for participation in the final in their own stadium. Full Report and Comment Section
Read here why it is so difficult to celebrate: Barca through, but time is up
Jose Mourinho demonstrated his ability as a superb coach once more. Wednesday’s Copa del Rey second leg between Barca and Real Madrid clearly demonstrated that the gap between the teams is closing. It took Mourinho a while to find the right way and tools, but today’s performance will give Real much more leverage in the coming weeks and the next Clasico’s. Real dominated the first half while stunningly falling behind 2-0 and much of the second half. Barca had to make it to the end hanging on on nothing else than their teeth. This has been the closest of matches of the past 9 or so. Continue reading
4:00pm, GolTV, El Clasico, Barca – Real Madrid, one of the biggest soccer matches, the world is watching.
Between the Clasico’s, Simon Harris and Nic Aldam discuss Barca’s week and a preview on Wednesday’s Clasico at Camp Nou. Listen here!
It looks like it just got a little more difficult to beat Barca.