The revolution wasn’t perfect, but Jose Mourinho changed the dynamics of the Real Madrid – Barcelona rivalry with Real’s biggest win at the Camp Nou in a very long time, while Cristiano Ronaldo continues to bring his best to Clasico matches, and Lionel Messi continues to show his worst in recent big matches.
Jordi Roura and Barcelona talked about fearing the referee, but Alberto Undiano Mallenco didn’t miss a single big call in a very hard match to officaite. Maybe he did give Real Madrid the benefit of the doubt on most of the 50-50 calls, allowing them to be the more aggressive team, but that wasn’t why Lionel Messi was taken out of the match by Raphael Varane for a second straight time, while Cristiano Ronaldo was close to unstoppable on the left wing, scoring two more goals (making it 12 for him in Clasico matches).
All the reasons why Barcelona have conceded in 12 straight games were apperant and ripe for the picking, as the best counter attacking team in Europe too full advantage of Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol left alone without their wing backs, and the panic in the Barcelona defense every time Angel Di Maria or Cristiano Ronaldo made it through unscathed from the midfield.
Barcelona did start well, with pressure inside the Real Madrid box and an excellent chance for Lionel Messi, but Real Madrid scored on their first counter attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo converting a penalty kick he won. It took Barcelona some time before they realized they’re a goal down and began pressing again. They couldn’t really create anything against the fantastic defending by Real Madrid, finally closing down passing lanes instead of chasing Andres Iniesta and Xavi, which held the ball most of the match, but didn’t have the space to make something of their possession.
Lionel Messi was either watched closely by Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso when he dropped back, or by Sergio Ramos and Raphal Varane closer to the box. Cesc Fabregas, the man with the ability to break the very organized lines, made a mistake every time he touched the ball. Real Madrid just waited for turnovers to go on another counter. In the 57th minute Angel Di Maria found himself in the Barcelona penalty box, as Carles Puyol slipped and allowed him an easy shot. Pinto made the save, but Ronaldo was there for the rebound, making it 2-0, and securing Real’s place in the final.
It was 11 minutes later when it truly became a humiliating result – Raphael Varane, who scored the goal in the first leg to give Real a fighting chance (who knew…) in the second leg, rose above every one once again, while the defense followed Cristiano Ronaldo, allowing him to make it 3-0.
In the 88th minute Jordi Alba finally connected with a long ball to him over the Real Madrid defense, beating the fantastic Diego Lopez (not tested enough, but brilliant every time) to give Barcelona a meaningless goal, only meaning it won’t be their worst home loss to Real Madrid in 50 years. Real Madrid go through on aggregate (4-1) after an incredible 3-1 win at the Camp Nou.