Real Madrid forgot about their two draws and the meltdown against Villareal. Not having the panicking Jose Mourinho might have even benefited them, as the league leaders routed Real Sociedad 5-1, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and reached 101 league goals for Real Madridn. Barcelona had a harder time on their visit to Mallorca, winning 2-0 with Lionel Messi controversially on the score sheet.
With all the talk about Real’s slips against Malaga and Villareal, of Mourinho resorting and returning to his old ways of blaming everyone and everything but himself, his team, with Karanka acting as the responsible adult on the bench, played like they have for most of this season. Immediately going for the jugular, with the game pretty much finished before the first half was done.
In Mallorca, things were a bit different. Barcelona did score early on, as Lionel Messi’s cross from the free kick grazed or didn’t Alexis Sanchez’ head. As far as we know, the goal was awarded to Messi, resulting in his 35th goal of the season in the La Liga, calling things even with his big rival from Madrid. Gerard Pique slotted home the second goal rather late, while in between Mallorca did manage to create a few chances.
It was a Saturday of order being restored, because a third consecutive match of Real Madrid not winning would have been close to catastrophic. Thinking of playing at the Nou Camp for everything sends a shiver down the spine of every Real Madrid player, Jose Mourinho, and the fans. If we thought the league leaders might be confident about their future visit to Barcelona, we got exactly the opposite after the draw against Villareal. The win over Sociedad leaves plenty of breathing room again.
For Barcelona, who play at Milano this week in the first leg of their AC Milan test in the Champions League quarter finals, it was a decent preparation in a tough ground, although against a much less impressive opponent. For Real, who begin their Quarter Final on the road as well, facing Nicosia, it’s time to forget about their recent woes while playing away from home.