Real Madrid hosted FC Barcelona & won convincingly 3 - 1 in a fabulous game of Football.
The starting line-ups for both teams were:
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Isco, Kroos, Modric, James; Cristiano & Benzema
FC Barcelona:Bravo; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Mathieu; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Neymar & Luis Suarez
The win gives Real Madrid three points that puts pressure on Barça on the classification table as the former is now breathing on their necks with a point of difference. The result could have been greater for had the locals been able to finish off their numerous counter-attacks, especially in the second half.
Barça started well, very well, with an early 3rd min goal by Neymar. Real Madrid reacted well & Benzema hit the bar, all adding to the end to end Football with Messi getting a deadly Suarez pass & goal chance, to score the second that Iker Casillas "miracle saved". This was the turning point as Real Madrid took over the game until the end. In a nutshell, Real Madrid was quicker, more direct & vertical in finding the goal, while FC Barcelona relied on their ball dominating & possession Football that made them look slower tonight & lead to errors when pressured.
Real Madrid in the counter-attack is deadly, perhaps the best team in the World at this moment that practices this method. They pressure the opposition players, cause errors & then speed away to get to the goal in just 3 - 4 touches. This "killed" Barça tonight along with the efforts & sacrifice all match from Real Madrid players James Rodriguez - who was fabulous - Isco & Modric who along with attacking defeated in block. Karim Benzema was class, along with his goal, connecting & setting up his team-mate with an always active & dangerous Cristiano Ronaldo who scored & was more sharing tonight always looking for team-mates to score when perhaps he was better placed. In defence Sergio Ramos was a pillar of strength & Carvajal was excellent putting out Neymar & any one else in his way.
For Barça, Luis Suarez started & was active putting in some dangerous passes but fizzed out, as did other team-mates like Neymar, Xavi & Messi. The bad news was the injury to Iniesta that will need to see later the extent of the damage. Overall, a faster & more vertical Real Madrid deservedly took the victory.
These are all the goalscorers in order:
- Neymar 3rd min, 0 - 1
- Cristiano Ronaldo 34th min (penalty), 1 - 1
- Pepe (corner header) 50th min, 2 -1
- Karim Benzema (counter-attack) 61st min, 3 -1
Last night Round 9 of Liga kicked off with the Celta de Vigo - Levante match. The game went to Celta 3 - 0 with two goals from Larrivey - 26 & 82nd min - & Alex Lopez in the 89th min. This victory gives Celta three more points & they quietly jump up the classification table into the top positions. Great form & Football from Celta.
Two teams having a "horror" period in Liga & sitting in the bottom places of the ladder met today in a "must win" situation. The three points went to Athletic Club Bilbao winning 0 - 1 away to Almeria. The game gave just one goal & that came in the 56th min from Etxeita.
Valencia CF welcomed their new owner Peter Lim with a authoritative 3 - 1 victory over Elche. The goals came from fixed plays-corners, starting with Mustafi in the 12th min, followed by Parejo in the 17th min & an own goal from Elche player Lomban in the 64th min. Elche consolation piece was scored by Jonathas from a corner in the 92nd min.
Extra good news for Valencia CF, Alvaro Negredo got a run in the 86th min. His happy to be finally back after a long injury. Will get better.
Eibar drew 1 - 1 with Granada. The visitors got ahead in the 8th min via Nyom, then Boveda drew for the home team in the 38th min. Shared points.
Cordoba drew 1 - 1 Real Sociedad in a match that went to the wire. The visitors got ahead first in the 22nd min through a Iñigo Martinez goal, but Cordoba drew in the 88th min through Xisco.
More Liga matches tomorrow.