A game that is overhyped, over analyzed, over everything went to another level pre-match. Everyone, and I mean everyone, wrote a preview about what would happen between Real Madrid and
Here is what I wrote a couple of weeks ago:
The dynamics of the game have changed. In 08/09, Real just tried to kick
Add to all of this, there was the hubbub about the game being played on a Monday, usually a day reserved for lackluster fixtures. A quick synopsis on this situation from Sid Lowe: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/sid_lowe/11/15/clasico.monday/index.html
Setting the stage:
Champions League games:
To make it even more farcical, Alonso and Ramos got sent off at the end to clean their card slate for the knockout phase. There has been much debate on the ethics of this, but Mourinho has his eyes on the trophy with the big ears.
Panathinkos 0 FCB 3
FCB survived an early scare from Cisse, who has a normal haircut these days, and went on to win 3-0, with 2 goals from Pedro and a goal from Messi. Xavi and Pique came off early to rest for Monday, but all other big guns played the entire match
Both teams are through as group winners.
To be honest, I didn’t even look up results after CL matches. With the game being pushed back to Monday, both teams had plenty of rest.
Recent El Clasicos
19 November 2005 Real
Ronaldinho received standing O from the Bernabeau
1 April 2006 FC Barcelona Real
22 October 2006 Real
10 March 2007 FC Barcelona Real
A sick hat trick from Messi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47NH1PUTkoA but not enough to keep Beckham’s
23 December 2007 FC Barcelona Real
Don’t remember a thing about this game
7 May 2008 Real
FCB had to do the victory guard and were then hammered.
13 December 2008 FC Barcelona Real
Real beat the s#!^ out of FCB, who stole it late with 2 goals from Eto'o and Messi.
2 May 2009 Real
Real scored first but were destroyed by FCB to all but win the league and the first leg of Treble
29 November 2009 FC Barcelona Real
Ibrahimović scored early in the second to separate a scrappy but balanced match.
10 April 2010 Real
A quick restart led to a goal from Messi and Pedro scored a wonderful breakaway to seal the victory and the league.
Higuain did not recover from his injury and did not play, with Benzema taking his place. That was the only major change from both teams starting line-ups.
League tie breaker is head to head with the away goals rule.
29 November 2010 FC Barcelona Real
My brother sent me a message on facebook that read: El Clasico was El Clinico. What can be said other than FCB put on exhibition of the highest order as Real Madrid were the definition of chasing ghosts. Here are some of the game highlights:
Messi hit the post after six minutes with a delicate chip and after that FCB were off to the races. Xavi flicked in a deflection after 10 minutes. Then Pedro added a second after 20 minutes after great work from Villa. On both goals Marcelo was slow to react, and he struggled the entire match. Since he wasn’t able to add much offensively and defending is not his strong suit, his contribution was very little.
The second half started with Lass on for Ozil and the outside forwards switching positions for Real. Have to say that here the Special One got it wrong. Without a dynamic playmaker and without pressure on Xavi, Los Merengues just chased and chased and chased. Eventually Messi played in Villa (with a hint of offside) after 55 minutes, who beat Casillas. Then just moments later Messi did the same again for Villa, and, with an hour to go, it was 4-0.
The rest of the game was champagne football with FCB just toying with
At times during the game, the Blaugrana were absolutely mesmerizing. Once they connected more than 10 passes, Los Merengues seemed to switch off.
A couple of observations:
3. TACTICS! I didn’t understand Real’s 5-2-3 in the first half. Di Maria dropped into an outside back and Alonso and Khedira held the middle. FCB just passed to Iniesta or Xavi who time in the middle and the drew Real centrally before knocking it out wide for a 1 v 1 or a cross.
4. FCB just outwork the opposition. I guess I’m not surprised but it showed the difference between the two teams and the difference between the Treble winning Inter and the still forming Real Madrid.
5. The difference between CR7 and Messi is the team play. Messi set up goals that CRon would never think of. Yes Ronaldo can hit free kicks (narrowly missed one in this match) and can do stopovers and can create havoc, but he is so selfish it hurts the team. It’s fine against second rate opposition but against at a team of this order, every player has to be working for the team.
Rest of league
By the way, there are 18 other teams fighting for scraps.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2010
FT Hercules 3 - 1 Levante José Rico Pérez (18,000)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2010
FT Sevilla FC 1 - 3
3 Villareal 13 27