Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid – This month has been an action-packed fiesta for football fans. In only three days, we’ve seen some of the best matches of the year with strong foundations that have been tempered. Sunday was a fan favorite match-up between F.C. Barcelona and Real Madrid.
These two teams are contenders in one of sports biggest rivalries, El Classico. However, recent El Classico games have been one sided against Real Madrid and the Spanish giants have failed to secure a victory during their last 7 El Classico games. Los Blancos needed more than a ‘Hala Madrid’ to secure the win.
The night was also a tense moment for Barcelona’s side as they
are gunning for the top spot in La Liga. Both teams have a close rivalry that was
more solidified by their close standings in points. Barca had only won one of
their last four La Liga games. Sunday night was a great redemption opportunity
for the legendary club.
Sunday also marked Isco’s 300th appearance for
Madrid. The Spanish midfielder has remained an important part of Madrid’s
success over the years. During the 2017 season, he was among the players
selected for the 30 best players in the world. Alongside Isco, Real Madrid
veteran, Karim Benzema also made his milestone appearance of 500 games. The
highly celebrated French-Algerian is considered one of the best strikers in
In the spirit of reaching new heights, Barcelona and Real Madrid were fully prepared to take the victory. The game started off highly aggressive with strong tackles and three yellow cards given within the first 19 minutes. With a tense first half, both sides seemed equally aggressive and this misplaced use of force was a major factor in the missed chances from both teams.
The second half was a lot more strategic from Real Madrid. At the 56-minute mark, Isco channeled his renewed energy for a 25-yard shot that was met with a beautiful save from Barcelona’s German shot-stopper, Ter Stegen. More opportunities were made for Madrid’s Isco and he was equally met with well calculated responses from Barcelona.
This unrelenting force was not without success. Madrid’s
constant stream of opportunities was finally rewarded by Vinícius Júnior who
made great use of a spectacular pass from Toni Kroos. At 71 minutes, the light
finally began to shine on Real Madrid.
Barcelona was quick to respond with a push towards the goal
by their star-studded legend, Lionel Messi. Unfortunately, he was unable to
make the most of his chance as Marcelo and Varane successfully denied the goal.
Multiple substitutions were made by Barcelona in a desperate
attempt to mitigate the damage from Madrid’s goal. With an aggressive final 20
minutes, both sides tried to secure the best results for the match.
In a surprising turn of events, Madrid secured another goal during the final 2 minutes of extra time. Mariano Díaz Mejía, a superb striker for Madrid secured the ball in the net and brought a perfect conclusion to Sunday’s El Classico.