FC Barcelona was humbled at their home turf last night as The Catalans suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat against arch-rivals Real Madrid and got knocked out from the Copa Del Rey.
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Right from the kickoff whistle, FC Barcelona played the game with intensity and energy as the Catalans were able to create some decent chances infront of the Madrid goal. Alejandro Balde, who had a good game apart from his fellow teammates created early danger through the flanks using his speed and explosiveness to caught Madrid defense offguard.
Despite his efforts, FC Barcelona lacked that killer touch infront of the goal as the forwards weren’t able to convert any of those chances. Raphinha and Lewandowski missed some decent chances in a game where there weren’t any room for error.
These miss chances came to cost The Blaugrana as Vini jr opened the scoring for the Los Blancos following a brilliant save made by Courtois which then resulted in a quickfire Madrid counter. The Brazilian winger scored on the brink of half-time to equal the tie which FC Barcelona dominated until this moment.
After a brilliant yet ineffective first half FC Barcelona lost their momentum in the second half as the Catalans made some sloppy mistakes which gave Los Blancos the upper hand.
Real Madrid grew in confidence as the minutes went by gaining more and more control of the game.
After FC Barcelona was unable to clear their lines in the 50th minute, Karim Benzema scored Real Madrid’s second goal and gave the Los Blancos the aggregate lead.
More and more mistakes followed as FC Barcelona lost all the momentum they had from the 1st half which gave Real Madrid the opportunity to score two more goals to seal this tie-off.
Karim Benzema completed his hat-trick as he became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in El Clasico history.
The game ended 4-0 giving Real Madrid the bragging rights in this El Clasico and The Los Blancos will face CD Osasuna in the Copa Del Rey finals.
Behold, the oldest hattrick holder in El Clasico legacy
What went wrong ??
- Unavailability of Andreas Christensen and Frenkie De Jong impacted this game heavily as FC Barcelona lost the mid field battle against Kroos, Modric and Valverde. The link which Andreas Christensen makes between the defense and the midfield with his elite passing from the back was no where to be seen yesterday from any other defender of FC Barcelona.
- Creativity in the midfield was dull following the absense of Pedri which resulted in FC Barcelona only depending on their flanks to create chances.
- Lack of effectiveness of the forwards ( specially Raphinha and Lewandowski) hurt the chances FC Barcelona had, of reaching the finals of Copa Del Rey. Robert Lewandowski was underwhelming in almost all the big games FC Barcelona had this season so far which really does not do justice for the hefty price tag FC Barcelona had to pay to incorporate him to the squad.
- Sergi Roberto: “Their first goal really hit our morale.” this quote from Sergi Roberto, one of the captains of the team says all about the lack of mentality of the Catalans which other European Heavyweights like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich possess in abundance.
Exit from the Copa Del Rey puts more pressure on Xavi to win Laliga as that’s the only remaining trophy FC Barcelona is battling for this season. Fortunately FC Barcelona hold a 12 point gap sitting comfortably at the top in Laliga with 11 more games to go. After all these signings and activated levers in the summer, its not a good season by FC Barcelona but it’s important to end the season on a higher note which could be achieved by winning The prestigious Laliga trophy after 4 years.
What went wrong? Drop your thoughts in the comments