The Real Madrid reached the provisional leadership of LaLiga Santander, imposing itself under a flood to Barcelona thanks to a lethal first part, to the rhythm of Vinicius, and defending when physical fatigue appeared after Liverpool wasted, against a Barcelona that caressed the tie until the last breath and took a step back in its aspirations.
From solidity and solidarity in effort, attacking space with surgeon precision. With Vinicius as the main reference to print a speed that rewarded the defensive work of two united lines to complicate the football of Lionel Messi. The plan of Zinedine Zidane it came out perfectly in a first part that decided the classic
Real Madrid overcame the greater physical exhaustion, after the waste of Liverpool, strengthening in the core with the inclusion of Fede Valverde. The head was stronger than the legs. Handing over possession to a fresh Barça would have been the first step towards defeat. With intelligence and effectiveness, he fought for her and harshly punished his eternal rival.
The Madrid fans would have enjoyed if the damn pandemic did not continue leaving games that lose greatness without the encouragement of the stands. The effort of his players was not for less and would have driven them when his strength failed him. Koeman was faithful to his idea and found a pressure that made it difficult to start the play. Only Messi’s appearances between the lines in the first act caused something. His eternal association with Jordi Alba for a center with poison that he took out with a stretched Courtois.
Until the post in the search for an Olympic goal from Messi and the quick exit of Courtois to cover spaces on the brink of halftime, Barcelona felt overwhelmed. Powerless at times. With the ball he did not find a way to overcome lines and without it he suffered. From the start Vinicius, exuberant of confidence, launched challenges in high speed racing.
Koeman’s defense of three centrals has risks, it invites the rival to dare. Zidane was not without an offensive trident, sitting Marco Asensio, but he was in his slogan of being vertical with the ball. The advanced lanes offered the possibility of punishing their backs and at thirteen minutes Valverde did not think about it. He shot towards the opposite field, surpassed Jordi Alba, found Lucas Vázquez where the side should be and in the center Benzema’s infinite magic appeared. The heel resource was a new gem for his particular museum.
Exhibiting the forcefulness that the Madrid team longed for so much in their moments of irregularity, Benzema extended his sweetest streak. Key in the assault to the leadership with seven consecutive days marking. His significance even extended to defensive work, appearing in his own area to rob De Jong. The example of the union in the effort of a committed Real Madrid.
It reduced to the maximum the spaces to Messi. Based on aid. And after the ball steal he ran. Thus Vinicius exhibited virtues. Auto pass against Mingueza and overflow against Araújo. He attracted rivals and was knocked down. Thus came a foul in which Kroos allied himself with fortune. His shot hit Dest and made it impossible for Ter Stegen.
Before the second Real Madrid direct, the worst moments of Barcelona came. Suffering when Vinicius caught his breath and launched races. In his associations with Benzema. The post avoided the third in another counterattack, when Vini found Valverde and his whip was repelled by the wood before Ter Stegen saved the sentence against Lucas Vázquez. His defensive work was commendable until a clash with Busquets prevented him from continuing.
In the middle of the flood and with the wind conditioning the game, Odriozola’s exam was huge. Real Madrid featured players who went from never appearing to doing so in decisive matches, such as Militao, ending with Isco or Mariano. And he went on to suffer in the second act, when Barcelona took the forced step forward, knowing the risks he was running.
The physical factor commanded and Koeman risked removing a side as Dest to make way for Griezmann. The scene suddenly changed. In the midst of the flood, the chances became Barça and the Madrid counterattacks lost their effectiveness. At game time an unexpected auctioneer appeared. With the shin Mingueza finished off the center of Alba that allowed Griezmann to pass under the legs.
The classic was tightening. Real Madrid began to look at the clock because it lacked precision in the last meters. The forces were already wavering and the fortune factor did not fall on his side in a new action by Vinicius that diverted Araújo to his own goal and the goal was avoided again by the post.
The figure of Courtois appeared and became the protagonist. Firm against the lateral centers, seeing Mingueza’s cross shot when the stage no longer interested Zidane, who was pulling what he had on the bench to pause him. On the contrary, Koeman stroked the tie with his bet on Ilaix. He finished everything and the crossbar avoided the tie in the last gasp.
Before, the controversial play that is never missing in a big date and that will have a different reading depends on the side. Alba took advantage of Odriozola’s dismissal. His cross shot was fought by Braithwaite, touched on the baseline by Mendy’s arm in an interpretable action that for the referee was not a penalty. The provisional white leadership came with maximum suffering.
2 – Real Madrid: Courtois; Lucas Vázquez (Odriozola, m.43), Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos (Marcelo, m.72), Modric, Valverde (Marco Asensio, m.61); Vinicius (Isco, m.72) and Benzema (Mariano, m.72).
1 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest (Griezmann, m.46), Mingueza, Araújo (Ilaix Moriba, m.72), Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets (Sergi Roberto, m.64), De Jong, Pedri (Braithwaite, m.81); Dembélé (Trincao, m.81) and Messi.
Goals: 1-0, m.13: Benzema. 2-0, m.28: Kroos. 2-1, m.60: Mingueza.
Referee: Gil Manzano (Extremadura Committee). He admonished Nacho (69) for Real Madrid, and Pedri (23), Araújo (26), Sergi Roberto (84) and Koeman for Barcelona. He sent Casemiro off with a double card in the 89th minute.
Incidents: match corresponding to the thirtieth day of LaLiga Santander played at the Alfredo Di Stéfano stadium behind closed doors.