Barcelona dismantled the hosts Real Madrid on Sunday, humiliating them by a 4-0 victory. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted twice as Xavi’s tactics proved superior in Madrid’s crushing defeat.
How It Played Out?
Madrid came into the match well clear at the top of La Liga and 15 points ahead of Barcelona in the table, but the visitors produced their best performance of the season so far under new manager Xavi.
A sold-out Santiago Bernabeu stadium watched silently as a much-improved Barca under the command of new coach Xavi Hernandez dominated ‘El Clasico’ from the start.
With Ousmane Dembele and Ferran Torres exposing Real’s defensive structure, Barca opened the scoring in the 29th minute with an Aubameyang header from a Dembele cross.
The star performer of the show was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was phenomenal in his finishing. Playing his first El Classico, his link-up play with Dembele penetrated the Los Blancos defence.
Real Madrid midfielders were sloppy. They gave possession away cheaply and outwitted by Barcelona’s clever press.
Nacho and Eder Militao had their worst game of the season, a night for them to forget. Dembele and Ferran used their slick skills and pace to easily get through the defence. Only player in their team with a formidable performance was Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian made 6 saves, all from shots that came within his own 18 yard box.
The angles at which the Madrid players pressed made the press useless as Barcelona players still had every channel open to play a pass.
The absence of Karim Benzema was thoroughly felt by the Madridistas who saw his team get shattered from the stands. Even their wondered Vinicius was ineffective. He dribbled, but often dribbled into pressure and was left alone around the box.
Barcelona’s win ended Real Madrid’s streak who had not lost an El Classico since 2019.
Gerard Pique sent out a tweet post-match, sending a sense of excitement in his fans and a warning to the opponents. He said:
We are back.
— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) March 20, 2022
Their Europa League opponent Eintracht Frankfurt said:
Oh so THAT’S the #XaviBall you all keep tagging us about…
Congratulations & well played, @FCBarcelona. Looking forward to April! 😌
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@eintracht_us) March 20, 2022
Another video of the Barcelona team celebrating surfaced the internet.
Xavi and Barcelona celebrating their unbelievable 4-0 win at the Bernabeu 🙌✨
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 20, 2022
Barcelona coach and former legend Xavi also had a few words to say after his victory. He said,
“We were expecting a harder match “
“Today we were 4-0 up but you have to run, help the full-backs, press… Today it was 4-0 but, in another game, it could be 1-0 and losing the ball could cost you. A game of football is 90 minutes,”
Carlo Ancelotti, who faced heavy criticism after the defeat, came out and commented,
“We were not recognisable, everything went wrong. I told the players that [the defeat] was my fault”
“I don’t understand it, but I’m not going into it because I don’t want to make excuses. We played very badly and we approached the game very badly” claiming responsibility for the defeat Carlo Ancelotti said.
The Catalan Giants can now enjoy the win over the international break. The Catalans are not back in action until April 3 when Sevilla are at the Camp Nou in La Liga. They stand 3rd on the table, looking for a top 2 finish.
They face Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on 8th April. They would hope to keep a fit squad and maintain their winning ways.
Real Madrid next play Celta Vigo on April 2 in La Liga. Even though Real lost, they are in a comfortable position to win the La Liga trophy.
Their true challenge comes against Chelsea, who they face in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on 5th April. Carlo would want to learn from his mistakes and change up his tactics when they face the defending champions.