Not many months ago, Madrid and Barça saw each other in a football Siberia. But football has shortcuts and Real will dawn this Sunday as the leader. In Valdebebas, in a stormy match, he flew over Barça, which, despite the defeat, is not by the wayside either. At Di Stéfano, after a brave, volcanic, vibrant and deep duel, there was a clash of styles, a crossroads from which Madrid emerged the winner.
To begin with, Zidane made bingo. He is not considered a brainy on the board, but he uncorked Barça from his script. He had Madrid on the run, with Vinicius as the flag. In front, Koeman exposed a more braided Barça, pass to pass. As a result, at the beginning, the further away from Ter Stegen’s area, Real was closer to the goal. Closer to Courtois, the Barça team was flatter.
Zidane surprised with Valverde in front and Asensio in the stands. A maneuver to help Lucas against Alba and Pedri. Koeman overtook De Jong, dispensed with Griezmann and hung behind two debutants in a classic: Mingueza and Araujo. Both in thongs, subjected to a melee with sprinters like Vinicius. Quite a trance, maximum risk in one-on-one arrests.
Barça threatened with the ball as sustenance when Courtois deflected a center from Alba to Dembélé with the tips of his gloves. Real responded to the warning at full speed, as was the planned sketch. Valverde put the turbo, Alba did not throw the loop and left the door open to Lucas. The center of the Galician allowed Benzema to set the cue. A spur. Before the game, Madrid had already found the goal. Barça had only found the ball.
Messi, Pedri and De Jong pivoted to the sides of Casemiro, but the local team blocked the funnel wonderfully. Militão and Nacho, two urgent recruits without regard. Dembélé was cloistered between the two, who without horizons is not Dembélé. The French did not come by a hair to head a Messi center. Overcast the visiting team, Madrid shot the goal. It wasn’t a question of Kroos and Modric pampering the ball. At each birle, a glance at Vinicius, challenger again and again of Mingueza and Araujo. A foul from the Uruguayan to the Brazilian led to 2-0. Kroos executed the pitch and Dest forgot about football’s sesame street. The ball does not turn its face. With the Jeremiah, the American bounced the ball off his back and Alba, who is not a pole, had no ceiling for clearance under the crossbar.
Determined to penalize his opponent with Vinicius in orbit, the Brazilian accelerated to the counter, with Mingueza in slipstream, and assisted another who arrived with the turbo. Valverde crashed the ball into Ter Stegen’s right post. The rebound came another madridista at full speed. The German goalkeeper got in the way of Lucas. Where even Messi suffered from the beauty to find a slot, Vinicius had the field clear. Shortly after Lucas was injured after a collision with Busquets, Messi, so engulfed, found an escape route. From the corner he put the ball on Courtois’ crossbar.
Koeman rectified after the intermission. Outside Dest, inside Griezmann. Another scheme: 4-3-3, with Dembélé and Griezmann of fans on the sides. The course of the classic was not altered. Messi ruled his team with Alba as the first musketeer. On the other side, Vinicius was playing the cornet. By opposite routes, but already both teams were closer to the goal. It was Alba’s turn, a la Alba, but with an unexpected triumphant passenger. There was no brotherhood with Messi, but with Mingueza, who finished off the remanguillé. From suffocation with the flames of Vinicius to sing a goal in the classic, graduation night for the youth squad under the storm over Di Stéfano, with the footballers shivering to shivering. Tremendous.
With the 2-1, the duel went into combustion. Arrivals were constant in both directions, even though the plays did not always end with spotlights for the goalkeepers. Technicians intervened. Zidane, with an eye on Anfield, retired two leaders like Kroos and Benzema and the booming Vinicius, who before leaving almost caused a goal backwards from Araujo, whose rejection went to Ter Stegen’s right post. Under the downpour the battle turned hellish, with the Real with his jaw clenched. With Barça without finding the terminal move. Braithwaite had it, but Mendy was reckless. A touch on the Dane’s arm, which amplified the swoon. The referee checked nothing. The Barça did not have a kidnapping of Messi. Yes from Ilaix, who lowered the blind at night with a shot to the crossbar, already with Ter Stegen as the battering ram.
The League is on fire. Three teams at one point.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.