Barça adapt to circumstances and take heroic clásico win vs. Madrid

Barça adapt to circumstances and take heroic clásico win vs. Madrid

Lluís Mascaró

Director de Información Deportiva de Prensa Ibérica

| sport

Clásicos are matches that have a life of their own. Nothing that has gone before matters. Neither the good nor the bad. They are duels that transcend any footballing reason to enter the emotional realm. Passion overflows and this means that, on and off the pitch, all the parameters of logic are overturned.

In a Madrid-Barça match, neither historical statistics nor the current performance of the teams are of any use. The derbies are as unpredictable as they are exciting. And that is why they are so attractive. The first leg of the Copa semi-finals came at a time of mini-crisis for Barça after two consecutive defeats and just one win in the last four games.

Madrid, after sweeping aside Liverpool in the Champions League, had taken a draw in the derby against Atlético as a point gained thanks to the Blaugrana's unforgivable slip-up in Almería. 

Everything seemed to indicate, then, that Ancelotti's side had the upper hand. Even Xavi acknowledged as much: "Madrid are the favourites. They are the champions of La Liga and the Champions League..."

But a clásico is a clásico and at the Bernabéu it was once again demonstrated. A Barça side with three vital absentees (Pedri, Lewandowski and Dembélé) were able to pull off a heroic win. Against all odds and playing a game that could be considered the antithesis of their style, the Blaugrana stormed the Estadio Blanco with a victory that was as vindicating as it was balmy.


The first half was very intense, with some over-excitement from players like Vinicius and Gavi. Madrid dominated but hardly created any dangerous chances. And Barça, who did their best to block Los Blancos, were able to take their chance to take the lead with a goal from a rebound by Kessie with the collaboration of Militao.

Xavi's plan was working: work like a 'small' team to win like a big team. In the second half, the script was repeated. A Madrid monologue and a Blaugrana team defending in an orderly fashion without the ball. Something unheard of but forced by the absence of the most talented and unpredictable players. 

Los Blancos' control, however, was fruitless as they hardly troubled Ter Stegen. Barça had enough to apply themselves effectively in their destructive task to claim an extraordinary victory. Not for the football played, of course, but for the significance of the win. Barça knew how to adapt to the adverse circumstances and took a well-deserved prize.

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