Real 2-0 Barcelona: El Clásico had all ingredients – including Ronaldo

Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz scored the goals in front of former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo; Barcelona midfield had a rare off day.

Real 2-0 Barcelona - El Clásico had all ingredients on pitch - including Ronaldo
Real 2-0 Barcelona - El Clásico had all ingredients on pitch - including Ronaldo

Real Madrid moved to the top of La Liga table, as they beat Barcelona 2-0 in Santiago Bernabeu here tonight. Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz scored the goals in front of former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who was in the stand to watch El Clásico proceedings. 

Real Madrid vs Barcelona – Context

El Clásico could not have started in worse time than this, as both the team had their share of setbacks. After Quique Setien took charge, Barcelona seems not sure about it’s attacking line, – changing formation each day. Today was no exception, as they started with Vidal and Griezmann.

On the other hand, Real Madrid were the second spot in La Liga table and trailing to Manchester City 1-2 in the Champions League round of 16. They will face City in Etihad without their skipper Ramos. That was the reason Zidane wanted the backing of Real Madrid supporters for today’s match, saying this is the time when he wanted the fans to be there in Bernabeu and support their favourite team.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona – Goals

  • Vinicius Junior drove in via a deflection in a second-half packed with chances after Isco saw a shot saved and an effort cleared off the goalline. 
  • Substitute Mariano struck in added time as he came in from the right flank, only fired at the right side of ter Stegen from 8 yards distance.

What the scoreboard won’t tell

  • Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Bernabeu since he left Real Madrid in 2018. He came to support his former club and watched the game from a private box today.
  • Antoine Griezmann created the first real chance in the 21st minute. The France international could have found the back of the net, but he sent his attempt over the crossbar despite sitting near the penalty spot. 
  • Courtois saved Real twice during the first half, once against Messi and the other against Arthur. The Brazilian had one of the best chances of the entire first half with a one-on-one against the former Chelsea goalkeeper, but his attempt was denied. Messi also came close to score in the 38th minute with a shot from close range, but Courtois was magnificent once again to deny the Argentina star. 
  • Real Madrid played an exciting football in the second half, and Barcelona could not make a comeback or even looked like to make one after the first goal.
  • This match was real redemption of Old Real Madrid, Marcelo, Carvajal, Casemiro, Isco, Kroos, Ramos all played like they have gone back three years… and Mordic came as a substitute. Courtois, Valverde and two-goal scorers being new additions.
  • On the other hand, Messi was all alone. Without Suarez, the Barcelona looked were toothless. Ansu Fati could have been a real impact if Barcelona decide to cherish him. But when he was brought on the pitch, Real was 1-0 up, and Barcelona lost control of midfield.
  • Barcelona sent Martin Braithwaite off the bench as the first substitution. The Dane had an almost immediate impact since he created a chance just seconds after entering the pitch, but that was just an isolated act in the second half. 
  • Lionel Messi had almost equalized, as he received a forward pass at 30 yards distance, with Marcelo and Varane trailing him. In the end, Marcelo made an exceptional clearance and celebrated, as if, he scored the winner. 

Result and Conclusion

  • Vinicius Junior became the youngest person to score a goal in Santiago Bernabeu in the 21st century, replacing Lionel Messi, who bagged a hat-trick in 2007. Vinicius was just 19 years and 233 days in Sunday’s game. Opta reports Messi 19 years and 259 days old when he took over the game 13 years ago. 
  • Mariano Diaz is to score the quickest goal after substitution. His goal came only 50 seconds after his introduction. 

Post Match

Real Madrid’s first half display was one of the worst I’ve seen at the Bernabeu.

Pique, Barcelona

We started creating chances and insisted that, when we scored, we kept going to kill the game…. Leo creates a constant uncertainty. Leo creates a constant uncertainty. You always have to be aware of him. We put a lot of emphasis on him, put all our attention on him and closed the space.

Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on their game and Lionel Messi

We played well in the first half. We tried to move the ball fast to avoid the pressure, but it’s not easy against players like that.

Quique Setien , Barcelona Manager

We deserve our victory for everything we did, in attack and defence. It has been a complicated week for us and we had the chance to turn things around, and we did that… But this win also doesn’t change anything. We have a long way to go and we have to continue. We’ve got three important points but we’ll have more difficult games and we will be criticised again.

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid Manager