I took a short break after the World Cup but now we are approaching crunch time. Squads are finalised, there’s 1 more international break this calender year and the seasons starting to take shape.
After making comments that stated Real Madrid would suffer a defeat, the complete opposite happened on Saturday evening. This was a comprehensive Ancelotti win and the scoreline didn’t provide Madrid justice for their sheer dominance. The El Clasico took a swing on small margins – had Messi scored a simple tap in the results might’ve been quite different. Nonetheless Real Madrid had taken a 2-1 lead and there was never a sensibility that Barcelona could turn the tide.
This leaves me with 3 condensed reasons as to why Barcelona lost:
Suarez – Granted he provided an assist for a goal which was mostly Neymars’ individual effort: however it was clear Suarez was rusty due to the lack of real match time he’s been afforded and his poor performance was only amplified by his non-existent defensive shift.
Mathieu – Now for example, when Belgium play centre backs as fullback it’s because they lack world class fullbacks such as… Jordi Alba. Mathieu struggled with this new-found role and he was constantly overrun on his flank and offensively he offered little though his long range effort was impressive.
Ancelotti – His squad were the better drilled team, they were efficient and organised which has covered their defensive deficiencies for most of their season. They overloaded Barca on counter attacks, their defensive transition into 2 banks of four was as impressive as ever and they stifled Barca.
Even after this win I’m asked why I continue to criticise this Madrid side. It’s because of their questionable antics in the transfer market. They’ve voluntarily digressed from last season by adding unnecessary pieces and selling the likes of Di Maria who’s excelled at Man Utd.
Atletico Madrid displayed earlier this season how to beat Real Madrid, the reasons were obvious so it was quite comical when Madridistas used Casillas as a scapegoat. Undeniably the duo consisting of Modric and Kroos provides a lack of defensive cover on counter attacks, but the 4-4-2 formation as well as the brilliant squad has afforded Madrid a temporary veil.
It is for this reason I can guarantee Madrid will not retain the European Cup.
Barca on the other hand has a poor prospective and will continue declining. The front 3 of Neymar, Messi and Suarez is a sign of the coming times – the El Clasico summed up their approach, staying high up the pitch without pressing. The sheer brilliance of each individual player may drag them through on a domestic basis yet they have already been exposed by the only 2 world class teams they’ve played so far.
This Barcelona team is starting to resemble the Galatico era of Florentino Perez early reign over Real Madrid – huge spending with these elaborate unveiling’s. Initially fans are exhilarated with these stars, and then the trophy-less seasons will inevitably follow. Universally, Barcelona main fragility has been its defense, in the past 4 seasons they’ve spent £42.24 million on defenders – this season, Suarez was bought for £71.28 million.