Real Madrid vs Barcelona review

2014-03-24 09:47

The La Liga championship has been blown open thanks to Barcelona's win over their fierce rivals Real Madrid. The derby lived up to its famed "El Clasico" moniker, it had all the drama and tension one expects from such encounters; penalties, dismisals, sublime football skills and some wonderous goals. It was a true advert of the best football in the world.

Leading up to the derby, Madrid had been undefeated in five months with their last defeat ironically handed to them by Barca. Barca, on the other hand, is regaining their form after a poor run over the past few months. The stage was set for a thrilling encounter, and it proved to be one.

Madrid started as the brighter of the two teams but Benzema missed a few great chances. So it was Barca who took first honors against the run of play. Lionel Messi found Iniesta with a precise pass in the area and the world cup winner blasted home an unstoppable shot past Diego Lopez to stun the Madrid faithful. Benzema redeemed himself by scoring the equalizer with a header from a squared ball from Di Maria. Then Madrid took the lead through the best goal of the night, Di Maria mesmerizingly took on a number of players on the left and crossed the ball in for Benzema to illustrate his sublime technical ability to trap and hit a volley all in one motion to give Madrid the advantage. Messi pulled one back just before the break to level matters.

Barca came back from the break looking the stronger of the two teams, but it was Madrid who pounced first. Referee Undiano Mallenco made the first of his several questionable decisions, giving a penalty for a foul outside the area and failing to even caution Dani Alves for the foul. Ronaldo dusted himself off and scored the resulting spot kick. Then, the drama ensued with another of Messi's defense-splitting chances resulting in Neymar going through on goal only for the ever-clumsy Sergio Ramos to clip his heels and cause an unnecessary penalty and to get sent off in the process. Madrid's protest fell on deaf ears and Messi stepped up to slot the kick home and they were again on level terms. The red card effectively ended the tie as a contest and with seven minutes left to play the ref was again the center of attention. Awarding his 3rd penalty of the night for what seemed to be a manufactured foul by Iniesta having lost the ball in the area he went down, ref blew the whistle however, once again failed to issue the mandatory caution. Messi collected his second hat-trick in two weeks and Barca won the El Clasico.

The aftermath of the derby was filled with jubilation for the catalunyans and complaints from the Madridstas. Whether you share Cristiano Ronaldo's sentiments "It was tough game. There were some people that didn't want us to win or see Barça out of the title race. I've been here for a long time. It obviously bothers people when Real win. It makes them jealous. There isn't a level playing field". Or Tata’s no committal "I didn't see them. The most blatant was Ramos on Neymar, there's no doubt it was a penalty. I was further away for the others. I have nothing to say about the referee." it was a great match either way.

The Spanish league title is up for grabs and anyone of the three teams can win it. Athletico Madrid has the advantage however they still have to face Barcelona. Real Madrid will rue the missed opportunity.

For us the football loving fans, we thank the football God for this result as it sets up and enthralling finish in the title race. One we have not seen for many years in the Spanish Primera. Will the title stay in with the Catalans or will one of the capital based teams wrestle it away. Be sure to stay tuned as either way it's going to be a spectacle.

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