With a stunning 4-0 triumph away to Real Madrid in El Clásico, Barcelona extended their La Liga winning streak to five games and maintained control of their fate in the Top 4 fight. Barça were brilliant from start to finish, thoroughly dominating and rendering Spain’s finest squad entirely powerless. They will enter the international break third in the league and look unstoppable.
Real Madrid got the game’s first significant chance when Vinicius Junior took on Ronald Araujo and found Fede Valverde on the outside of the box, but Marc-André Ter Stegen expertly saved the Uruguayan’s low drive. It was the home team’s first warning and a foreshadowing of things to come.
It wasn’t, in fact. Thanks to an absolutely amazing performance by an invigorated Barça squad, that was basically the only decent moment Madrid had in the whole first half. The Blaugrana were sensational in the first 45 minutes, completely outplaying Los Blancos in every aspect of the game and tearing the Madrid defense apart with brilliant offensive football.
Barça produced opportunity after chance with their movement and passing, and even after a pair of brilliant early stops by Thibaut Courtois, it seemed like the visitors’ goal was just a matter of time.
The goals finally came after a half-hour wait: Ousmane Dembélé worked his magic down the right-wing against Nacho, playing a perfect cross into the box for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to head home the opener; ten minutes later, Dembélé got another assist when his corner kick found Ronald Araujo, who also headed the ball into the Madrid net.
The only criticism of the first half was that Barça failed to score more goals: Aubameyang might have had a hat-trick, and Ferran Torres came agonizingly close with a beautiful attempt. Apart from that, Barça had played their finest 45 minutes of the season, and all they needed to do in the second half was finish the job.
If there was any doubt about a Real Madrid comeback in the second half, Barça made sure to put the game out of reach within the first six minutes: first, Ferran Torres smashed a beauty into the top corner after a spectacular backheel assist from Aubameyang; four minutes later, Ferran returned the favor and assisted Aubameyang, who chipped the keeper to score his second and Barça’s fourth of the night.
Madrid and the Bernabéu were utterly suffocated by the two early goals, although Barça seemed a touch flat for a spell, allowing the home club to enjoy some possession and attempt a few efforts on goal. However, it didn’t take long for Barça to reclaim their supremacy, as they continued to attack and try to score more goals in the closing minutes. This time there was no Manita, but it didn’t make the night any less fun.
Madrid’s agony came to an end with the final whistle, giving Barça their most emphatic three points of the season. Even the most optimistic Barça supporter could not have imagined such a strong performance, and as we head into the international break, there is no denying the impact Xavi Hernández has had. get better.
BARCELONA ARE BACK !!!