In fact, the Barça victory puts things in place in case there was any doubts. Barça still has the edge over Real Madrid, are still the "Best Team in The World" & have savagely put a "dagger" into the Madrid psyche. Is there any doubt now that Guardiola is better than Mourinho? No, not after tonight.
But there is another worrying observation which repeats itself, CRISTIANO RONALDO disappears. The man has a "psychological" issue - Football wise - in the big occasions & especially against FC Barcelona. Lionel Messi is all the opposite, he began the Barça "comeback" with the first goal & was always active, positive & decisive in play.
Real Madrid started very promising & scored under the 1º st min via KARIM BENZEMA when Barça goalie Valdes made a clearing mistake. It seemed that it could have been the night Real Madrid took back the "crown", but it was to be far from it.
After Barça recovered from the early knock & pressure, Barça progressively began to get control of the ball & put Real Madrid out of place. Messi sent the first warning signs when Ramos slipped & Real goalie Casillas had to make a "miracle" save from Messi. Then in the 29th min Messi gave ALEXIS a precision pass that allowed the Chilean to equalize.
CRISTIANO RONALDO had earlier missed a sitter that would make his team pay dearly. The half ended with a drawn result.
|Xavi scores for Barça|
The second half saw Barça lift in gears , but again Real Madrid missed their chances. Then XAVI took a shot from outside the box that hit MARCELO in the 52nd min ( own goal) which deviated away from Casillas for the second goal. That was a big blow for Real Madrid as luck looked if it had left them.
|Alexis - Cesc Fabregas|
But luck had nothing to do with things tonight as Real Madrid ( & Ronaldo ) looked disappointing upfront lacking the sharpness & accuracy of past games. Have to add that Barcelona Captain CARLES PUYOL had something to do tonight with the situation, as he was SUPERB!
Real Madrid Coach Mourinho reacted with Ozil coming off ( Kaka on ) along with Lass Diarra ( on Khedira) who had a yellow card. Then while Real Madrid was attempting to find a second & equalizing goal, Alves grabbed a ball that he crossed to find CESC FABREGAS in the 65th min who headed home. Here the nail was firmely hammered into the Madrid "coffin".
The game then got sloppy & rough as Real Madrid looked like a "Balloon" that loses air as the minutes went by. Real Madrid brought on Higuain ( off Di Maria), had more goal chances but ... yes, they missed them. Ronaldo had three free-kick chances tonight & they all ( except one) hit the barrier.
Matched ended with a solid Barcelona victory that keeps Real Madrid ahead in the classification table of the Spanish League with a 3º point advantage ( if Real can beat Sevilla next week), but sends Real Madrid back to do their homework & attempt to recover from this "devastating" psychological blow.
FC BARCELONA now travel straight to Japan for the "FIFA World Clubs Championship" & are hot favourites to take the title , Santos allowing of course, but the message tonight must also be playing on the Brazilians minds.
Now until April 2011 at "Camp Nou" for the 2º nd LIGA season 2011 - 2012 "Clasico", another match of the Century :O)