27 February 2013

Totally Different Barca Performance

Last night’s second leg in Copa del Rey semifinals between Real Madrid and archrival Barcelona at Camp Nou was indeed another “El Clasico” matchup. But Barca played a totally different performance in front of the home fans that resulted in the same outcome when they played AC Milan at San Siro last week. What’s more painful, this time they were demolished by its fierce rival Real Madrid right at their own turf. 

Perhaps, Real Madrid learned a lesson or two from what AC Milan did when they stunned the football world by defeating the Catalans (2-0) with excellent defensive walls and limiting the passing lane. Barcelona’s highly structured “Tiki-taka” style of play failed to produce victory in two successive big occasions and can only manage a single goal against five (AC Milan -2; Real -3).
More similarities can be found in AC Milan and Real’s magical night, by containing the passing lane with organized defensive walls but Mourinho has also deployed a clinical counterattack that caught the Catalans flat-footed, exposing again the vulnerability of their defense. In fact, Ronaldo’s two goals are a direct result from excellent counterattacking strategy and were very evident throughout the match. Or maybe, that is just what “El Clasico” is being played. 

Stats say that it was Barcelona’s worst defeat among “El Clasico’s” since losing at the Bernabeu in 2008. And the last time Real Madrid won 3-1 at Camp Nou, they won the Copa del Rey by beating Sevilla. And if there’s more coincidence of it, Sevilla on the other hand, is hosting Atletico Madrid tonight in the other second leg semifinal match but the Sevillistas is thrilling 1-2 in aggregate.

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