A sublime display of football by Catalan giants. Deeming this performance to be a massacre is an understatement; this was a bloodbath, carnage of the highest order.
Barcelona took their resurgence under Xavi to another level by thrashing rivals and runaway La Liga leaders Real Madrid 4-0 in El Clasico. Real Madrid were on their best Clasico run in years, having won the last five meetings in all competitions and started the day 15 points clear of Barcelona in La Liga – however, they were met by a rejuvenated and revitalized Barca, who ripped them apart in every department.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 8.5
Ter Satgen had a great game overall. His ball distributions were spot on and he made some good saves as well. He wasn’t tested much in this game and that is a good sign as well. Since Xavi has arrived, Barca’s defense has certainly improved.
Ronald Araujo: 9.0
Xavi has opted for Ronald Araujo instead of Dani Alves as a right-back to curtail the threat of Vinicius Jr and he successfully dealt with the pacy Brazilian winger. Although Alves’ proficiency to invert, significantly contributing to our build-up, whilst simultaneously helping in creating numerical superiorities, supersedes his defensive drawbacks but it would have been risky.
Gerad Pique: 9.2
He dominated the game as he used to do in his prime. Turns out he is still in his prime and not a finished player after all. What he needed, was a sound structure – aimed at minimizing his evolutionary drawbacks, whilst maximizing his innate abilities.
Eric Garcia: 9.0
Eric Garcia was absolutely flawless against Real Madrid. He’s had his downs, as most young footballers do. However, if we’re talking about ability, there simply isn’t a question. Immense potential. Immense footballer. And, now, he has the perfect manager!
To elaborate; Xavi, with his emphasis on building out from the back, establishing a structure that creates numerical superiorities, out-wide & in between the lines – acts as an unparalleled means for someone like Eric, with his elite progressive abilities, to flourish.
Jordi Alba: 9.0
Jordi Alba is also one of the biggest beneficiaries of Xavi’s system. He had a great game and was phenomenal in the build-up play.
Sergio Busquets: 9.5
Sergio Busquets dropped another masterclass at Bernabeu. The way he controlled the tempo of the match and bossed the midfield was exceptional. Xavi turned him into prime Busquets again just by creating a sound structure around him.
Frenkie De Jong: 9.0
Frenkie once again showed that in the right system he’s a world-beater. He’s a definition of a modern midfielder who is elite at almost everything. Barca’s midfield with Busi – Pedri – Frenkie is starting to look scarier and scarier each with each passing day.
Pedri was excellent as usual and controlled the tempo of the match as a veteran. He completed most take-ons for Barcelona against Real Madrid and was key in almost everything.
It’s crazy how special Ousmane Dembele is. He’s a primary creative outlet whose ambipedal nature enables him to create chances on either foot for those around him. However, he’s also an incredible dribbler and athlete & thus a 1v1 specialist who can go either side. He still lacks top-level finishing and is a bit inconsistent but his other qualities supersede his flaws. He had an excellent first half and toyed with Nacho, too many times. He owned that right-wing, alone!
At the Bernabeu, Aubameyang not only scored a brace from an extraordinary header and a tight and measured chip to beat Courtois, but he also gave a huge assist to Ferran Torres from a back-heel pass. He is a lethal striker when given space and who knows how to move in short spaces.
Ferran is a pivotal part of Xavi’s Barça. If someone believes otherwise, just watch his set-up for Aubameyang’s second goal. He’s such a clever footballer, understanding, most notably, the ‘when’s and why’s of the game. His off-the-ball movements, non-stop pressing, and ability to regain possession makes him a perfect winger for Xavi’s system. He is bound to succeed under Xavi and there is no doubt about it.