For the past few years Barcelona have made sure that the match with the highest viewership in the world would not live up to it’s hype. Zinedine Zidane though, had other ideas for his ‘Classico’ debut. Real Madrid came back to beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou after going down by a goal via the head of Gerard Pique. Madrid though responded through Benzema’s brilliant overhead finish. Madrid were dominating the game until Sergio Ramos was given his marching order after a second bookable offence. Zidane though, sticked to his guns and sent on Jese Rodriguez to speed up Madrid’s attack which turned the tables on Barcelona as Madrid scored on a counter attack through Cristiano Ronaldo and thus won the match. Following are a few things that explain perhaps the best ‘El Classico’ after a long long time:
Zidane has what it takes to manage Real Madrid
A lot of people questioned the Frenchman’s appointment as Zizou didn’t have the experience that his predecessors had. Last night though, he did something most of his predecessors couldn’t achieve by beating Barcelona in an ‘open’ game. He set up his team in a way which did not allow Barcelona to play their passing game and made sure that they could not score in the first 20 minutes of each half. His move to bring in Casemiro was a defensive one but that helped his team in stopping Messi from playing. Furthermore, bringing on Jese Rodriguez was a testament to his attacking mindset which helped Madrid win the tie.
Barcelona had an off day
Messi and Busquets were not allowed to play due to Real Madrid’s pressing but it seemed like except Luis Suarez no one was in the mood for the most anticipated match of the season. Neymar was no where to be found and Barca’s full backs were being beaten at will by Ronaldo and Bale.
Ronaldo comes out over Messi in this one
The debate will go on for years to come but Ronaldo pulled one over Messi by scoring the decisive goal in the match. He was a thorn in Dani Alves’s back throughout the match and when the moment came he took the ball on his chest and finished with great finesse. It was his overall performance that impressed us the most as he tracked back and helped out his defenders at crucial points throughout the match.
Gareth Bale is a brilliant asset for Zidane
Gareth Bale had a huge part in Madrid’s Champions league final two years back. He showed it again last night by running his socks of for Zizou and setting up Ronaldo with a wonderful assist as well.
For Madrid, this win will be a huge morale booster for the upcoming Champions League match against Wolfsburg, while Zidane would feel that his job is secure for this season after beating Barcelona. For Barcelona though, it’s hard to predict what will happen against Atheletico Madrid as they’ve to pick themselves up from this defeat.