Real Madrid made a point, proved and surprised everyone with their ability to actually dominate a game against Barcelona, even at the Camp Nou. Forget about talks of Barca taking it easy because of their away lead or anything like that. Real’s resistance game came exactly at the right time, even if it didn’t get them a win and a semi final.
Aggressive? Brutality? There was plenty of that as well, especially as the seconds were winding down and Real couldn’t find a way through the defending (yes, you read that right) Barcelona team. But for the first time this season in a Clasico and a rarity in the Guardiola era, Real actually deserved to beat Barca, or at least stand with them as equals.
Importance? Despite anything Jose Mourinho says or does not say, which plenty of times has nothing to do with what actually happened, this was very big for Real. Knowing that they can dominate possession, the midfield and get things going even beyond the point of pure early momentum and enthusiasm.
Making them favorites for the next Clasico? Probably not, as these past few years have taught us that no matter the situation between the two teams, it’s Barcelona who have the advantage between both sides. But I do believe this match will do more for Real than the second leg in the Champions League did last season.
Real Madrid are the league leaders with a five point advantage over Barca. Like it or not, they are the favorites to win their first league title since 2008. Now, they should feel better and more equipped to win their first league Clasico since that same season.