Barcelona capitalised on Real Madrid’s wastefulness to win the first Leg of the Copa del Rey El Classico 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu and take a lead back to the Nou Camp.
Real had come racing out of the blocks to take the lead on the 11 minute through the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo as the Portuguese winger was sent scampering into wide open space by Karim Benzema and subsequently raced through on goal and, after ghosting past the stranded Gerard Pique, drilled low and hard under Jose Pinto.
Cesc Fabregas’ engineer a good opportunity for Alexis Sanchez, who played in place of David Villa, but was unlucky not to equalise. Barca levelled 4 minutes after the restart as Xavi swung over a corner from the left and Barca skipper Puyol diverted a bullet of a diving header past a stranded Iker Casillas.
And 13 minutes from time the FIFA world player of the year Messi picked the lock, with his delicate pass into Abidal allowing the French full-back to ghost in behind the Real back four and poke it past the on rushing Casillas.
Real enjoyed a dream start yet again but the script seems to always be the same. Madrid usually start well and take the lead, then they drop deep and allow Barca onto them. Subsequently giving them the ball and everyone knows Barca keep the ball better than anyone in the world and they make you chase, and then you tire and when you become too tired you lose concentration and Barca make you pay.
However my argument is that Barca v Madrid has become almost as on sided as Man united v Arsenal. That’s the game I’ll be reviewing and writing about. I believe the history of the clubs has almost eclipsed or papered over the cracks of the truth. Both Arsenal and Real Madrid are miles away from their domestic counterparts. And on evidence of the last eight El Classico’s Barca have only lost one in those last eight home and away (and that was an extra time winner in the Copa del Rey final) and Arsenals 8-2 drumming and humiliation means that the rivalry has almost hyped up games which are not as much of a contest as they once were. Madrid has also lost their last three out of four domestic El Classico and that must play on their minds. That must severely damage there mentality and subsequently lead them to feel unease when they are under pressure and therefore make them drop deep.
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