Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona: Hits and Flops as Los Blancos record statement El Clasico victory | La Liga 2019-20
- Real Madrid emerged victorious in the 180th La Liga Clasico to return to the perch of the league standings.
Real Madrid cruised past FC Barcelona 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu to reclaim their place atop the La Liga standings. The game began at a frenetic tempo as both sides looked to impose their identity on the match. However, it was the home team who settled quicker and got into a passing rhythm.
The first opening of the encounter fell to Karim Benzema in the 7th minute. However, the Frenchman ballooned his strike over the bar from the edge of the box. As the half progressed, Barcelona grew into the contest and came close in the 34th and the 38th minute. On both occasions though, Thibaut Courtois rose to the occasion to keep the score goal-less at the break.
Post the restart, the Los Blancos looked the better outfit and deservedly nudged ahead when Vinicius Junior raced through on goal and slotted his effort past Marc Andre ter Stegen, albeit via a deflection.
The Blaugrana pressed for an equalizer but were caught with the proverbial sucker punch in second half stoppage time when Mariano Diaz finished coolly to hand the hosts the three points and a spot at the perch of the standings.
Here is a look at the hits and flops from the match.
#5 Jordi Alba – Flop
Prior to the game at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Spaniard had been nursing an injury, meaning that his participation was under a significant cloud. However, for the visit to the Spanish capital, the full-back passed a late fitness test, thereby allowing Quique Setien the luxury of calling upon his services.
Yet, unfortunately for the Blaugrana, Jordi Alba looked extremely tentative and rusty during his stint on the pitch. The defender looked a tad off the tempo and was remarkably out-paced by the likes of Dani Carvajal and Fede Valverde.
Additionally, he failed to track his runners adequately and had Real Madrid been more prolific in the first half, they could’ve propelled themselves into a half-time lead. In fact, Alba was immensely lucky to remain on the pitch, despite indulging in a couple of bookable offences.
The Spaniard was brandished a yellow card for a needless off-the-ball scuffle with Carvajal and could’ve been issued his marching orders for a foul on Valverde, especially considering that he had impeded a promising counter-attack.
Over the course of the past few seasons, Alba has firmly established himself as one of the world’s premier left-backs. Yet, one reckons that he might not look back at Sunday’s performance too fondly.