3 Reasons why FC Barcelona won against Real Madrid
Barcelona edged out Real Madrid for the second time in a week as the Blaugrana extended their lead at the perch of the table to 10 points.
The game started off on a frantic note with both sides biting into challenges. However, the hosts enjoyed the better of the exchanges as they put the visitors under pressure with their slick passing.
As the clocked ticked by, Barcelona established more control in the middle third and went ahead in the 26th-minute courtesy Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian was sent through after Sergi Roberto played a perfect slide-rule pass from the right flank. The former applied the finishing touches as he dinked the ball superbly over an onrushing Thibaut Courtois.
The second half assumed a pattern similar to the first period with the home side trying to carve open the away side’s defence. However, nothing materialised and Real Madrid were left exasperated as Barcelona recorded their 3rd El Clasico triumph of the season.
Here is a look at three factors that contributed to the visitors’ victory:
#3. Barcelona’s defence stands tall
Barcelona decided to tweak their defence slightly for the Clasico on Saturday. While Nelson Semedo had started the game in mid-week, Roberto was given the nod at the weekend. Ernesto Valverde was vindicated in his decision as the Spaniard turned in an accomplished display.
Apart from Roberto, Jordi Alba was at his marauding best down the other wing with the left-back putting in another solid performance.
However, Barcelona’s best players on the night were Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. The pair looked unfazed throughout the game and barely allowed Karim Benzema a sniff at goal. The duo found itself in the right position at the right time with Lenglet making 4 blocks and Pique notching three blocks.
Moreover, the partnership snuffed out danger expertly and effected 22 clearances between them. (14 for Pique, 8 for Lenglet)
With the away side defending so stoutly, the hosts were forced to track backward and try their luck from distance, effectively playing into the visitors’ hands.
At the start of the season, several question marks had been raised regarding Barcelona’s rear-guard. Yet, on Saturday, they answered those doubters with a stupendous defensive display.