The first El Classico of the season did not disappoint


FC Barcelona’s Stadium Camp Nou.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona faced off at Barcelona’s stadium Camp Nou, for the first El Classico of the season, this week. El Classico is a name given in soccer to any match between the Spanish clubs, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. With an El Classico, the fans and spectators expect an intense game, full of chances, goals, tension and hard challenges. This week’s El Classico did not disappoint.

The first yellow card of the match came in the 14th minute, to Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos as he slammed his forearm in the face of FC Barcelona forward Neymar.

The first goal came in the 18th minute thanks to FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta who he set up Neymar in the box with an exceptional pass.

The first best opportunity for Real Madrid to equalize came in the 43 minute after a good play from Cristiano Ronaldo, who crossed the ball into the penalty box to Khedira.

After the second half, Real Madrid came out stronger. They had more chances and pressed hard on FC Barcelona’s defense with their deadly counter attacks. Ironically, Real Madrid started playing better after the 100-million-euro Gareth Bale was subbed off in the 70th minute.

Bein Sport commentators Ray Hudson and Phil Schoen said the way Real Madrid played in the second half was the way people expected them to play with Gareth Bale in the first half.

Soon after Bale’s departure, Ronaldo was in full stride in FC Barcelona’s penalty box when Javier Mascherano pushed through his back. To the dismay of Ronaldo and the Real Madrid side, the referee did not make the call. As Hudson explained, if that occurred in Real Madrid’s penalty box and against Messi, the referee may have called the foul.

Real Madrid had another chance minutes after, as Benzema’s shot from outside the penalty area rattled off the crossbar. Ray Hudson’s description of Benzema’s goal opportunity was colourful, as well as accurate: “Has goal written all over it but not spelled in French.”

In the 78th minute, FC Barcelona doubled its lead as Alexis Sanchez scored an amazing chip-shot goal from about 20 yard outside of the penalty area. Besides the amazing skill of the shot, the patience to wait and turn inside to chip the ball was the astonishing part of the goal.

At minute 85, Khedira got on the right side of the FC Barcelona defense but instead of passing the ball square to a wide-open Ronaldo, Khedira sent the off-angle shot into the arms of goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

In the 90th minute, all of Real Madrid’s pressing paid off as Jese scores a brilliant goal, courtesy of an assist from Ronaldo. Jese showed his club president that there was no need to spend 100 million euros to have a star on the team. “They broke the bank to get Bale and they might have had someone in their own backyard,” said Phil Schoen.

This game was close and very back and forth, which is the result of the good and bad technical decision both sides made before and during the match.

FC Barcelona took advantage of Ancelotti’s bad technical decisions in the first half. Ancelotti made the decision to put Sergio Ramos in the defensive midfield position for the first time ever. (Ramos usually plays defensively both for club and his country.) Ancelotti wanted to try and dominate the midfield and neutralize Xavi and Iniesta, but the first El Classico of the season is not the right time to experiment.

Tata Martino realized that Real Madrid would play centrally, so he instructed Messi and Neymar to play on the flanks. It was a smart tactical decision that resulted in his side getting a lot of chances.

Despite the 2-1 result for FC Barcelona, Real Madrid never gave up. They kept pressing until the final whistle.

The game statistics are what was expected, with Barcelona dominating possession. Neymar showed that he can bring more to an attack than his fancy tricks. His pace, passing and work ethic is why Barcelona fought so hard to get him on their squad.

Shea Thomson

Journalism student, and future Sports Broadcast Journalist, with a passion for the beautiful game of soccer.

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