Barcelona 3-0 Real Madrid: Match Review


Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

An entertaining affair at the AT&T Stadium in Texas once again paid testament to the significance of a match-up between Barcelona and Real Madrid. El Clasicos and friendlies often turn out to be oxymorons, with both teams going at with all they had once more.

In the first half, Barcelona began radiating positivity in every phase of play. Xavi opted to field his best XI on paper, which was evident in the way Barcelona carried themselves in and out of possession. The four-midfielder set-up allowed the Catalans to take control over proceedings.

The ball was circulated fluidly as Barcelona expertly weathered the storm in their first phase of play, which enabled them to outplay Madrid’s early wave of pressure. Once bypassed, Los Blancos were left defending onslaughts consistently. Oriol Romeu came awfully close to engendering an early lead, but his audacious volley ended up hitting the woodwork.

Eventually, all that purposeful possession bore fruit once a move constructed through a set-piece was capped off by Dembele’s thunderous finish. Pedri played him in from behind elegantly, and the Frenchman scored from a tight angle to bring the scoreboard up to 1-0 in the 15th minute.

Following the opener, the tides shifted ever so slightly and the Merengues gained a grip over the game. From chasing shadows, they started to force Barcelona into making irrational decisions on the ball and saw a few narrow misses.

In the 20th minute, Vinicius was gift-wrapped a penalty after Araujo handled the ball illegally. However, the pressure from the spot overwhelmed the Brazilian, who struck the woodwork.

The Blaugranes were given a second lease on life, but failed to maximize the opportunity, as Madrid continued to knock on Ter Stegen’s door. From this point onward to the half-time whistle, it remained a game of slim margins

The most notable point of concern was that the Catalans were struck with the untimely injury of Christensen, who was replaced by Eric Garcia. Ilkay Gundogan ended the half by coming off for Roberto due to muscle discomfort as well.

After proceedings, Barcelona returned from the dressing room with more wind in their sails. Reducing the excess verticality that pestered their possession spells, the Blaugranes introduced horizontal elements in their plays, which limited Madrid’s presence in the final third.

However, Barcelona continued to find minimal glances at the opposition’s goal. Around the hour mark, Barcelona made their substitutions as Dembele came off for Raphinha, while Pedri made way for Fermin Lopez.

Further substitutions were made after the game began to near an imminent closure. Ferran, Fati, Dest, Abde, and Alonso came on. As the lineup was almost entirely shaken up, Barcelona unsurprisingly struggled to form cohesion.

Madrid struck the bar on a number of occasions in the second half and were close to scoring, but Barcelona’s defense held out. In the dying embers of the game, their patience yielded results. Fermin Lopez, the youngster with immense pressure riding on his shoulders, bolted forward in transition and smashed an outside-the-box goal that left Courtois shellshocked.

As Madrid proceeded to throw numbers up front and nearly scored a consolation goal, Fermin Lopez and Ferran Torres combined to bring up the score to 3-0. An excellent lobbed ball from the youngster saw Ferran cheekily score past Courtois.

Confirming victory on American soil, a dominant display was capped off by a whopping 3-0 win, which is sure to integrate a great deal of confidence within the squad.

Shahraiz Sajjad
Shahraiz Sajjad
Professional graphic designer and writer expressing my love for FC Barcelona.

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