Matchday Musings: Real Madrid 2-1 BarcelonaRead an in-depth analysis of the La Liga game between Real Madrid and Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday March 1, 2013.
By Ali Al-Hassan
06:16 PM UTC 02 Mar 2013
Alvaro Morata Deserves More
Alvaro Morata was given a rare start in todays Clasico match as Jose Mourinho was looking to rest some key players ahead of the decisive game against Manchester United. The Spaniard impressed as he was all over the place and was even able to get himself an assist early on for Karim Benzema’s goal. He missed an easy opportunity later in the game while the score was 1-1 but, overall, he did great and really deserves some more time in the first team. A good performance from the 20-year-old tonight.
Karim Benzema Needs To Gain Speed
Something has been missing in Karim Benzema’s gameplay, he has not been scoring as often as he needs to and today he even showed something else: He is slow. His speed and pace is very slow compared to how he was and it is one of the things that used to really help him get his name on the scoresheet so often in recent years. He scored a goal against Barcelona but that was all thanks to Morata. He will need to work on his speed or risk being benched in games such as this one.
Andres Iniesta Is Barcelona’s Main Danger Man
During the Copa del Rey semi-finals, Iniesta was the man who shined for Barcelona from the first minute until the end. Today, he has done it again. During the last 20 minutes, pretty much none of the Catalan forwards were seen too often but during the first 70 minutes of the game, Iniesta was there. The Spaniard was trying to keep his team alive and made some unbelievable passes (one of which could possibly be the play of the game to David Villa). A dominant factor in the middle for Barcelona and it is extremely rare to remember a ‘bad’ game for this playmaker.
Pepe Is Too Violent
A great defender? Yes. But Pepe really needs to calm down. He came on during the end of the 3-1 win against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and started a fight with Sergio Busquets and today, he was just making rash decisions and some tackles that really had no place in the game. He did have one moment of brilliance with a great through pass to Morata, who’s opportunity was saved by Victor Valdes. The Portuguese really needs to calm down and find some way of getting rid of his ‘violent’ reputation. This is not goofd for him or the club itself.
There Is Something Wrong With Barcelona
Has exhaustion gotten to them? Is Tito not being there having a big effect on them? Have they become predictable? There are many questions coming out now but one thing is for certain – Something is wrong with Barcelona. Suffering three losses in the past four games (AC Milan and Real Madrid ) is not in their nature whatsoever. They are a team that always know how to bounce back and fight even harder than they have done before. This is not something that they have shown this time around and they will need to fix it as they have a decisive game against AC Milan and will need to overturn at 2-0 deficit. No matter what happens though, you cannot rule them out just yet…