Welcome to cfrealmadrid.com. As you know, the El Classico ended in a [0-0] draw after 17 years and we are here with the Tactical Match Review of Barcelona vs Real Madrid. The first El Clasico of the season ended in a goalless draw at Camp Nou. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid were unable to break the deadlock. After El Classico, both teams have 36 points on the League Table with Barcelona having an edge on us due to goal difference. Poor referee, lack of creativity, and better finishing are the main hindrances in losing 2 points of the match.
Barcelona has now gone 7 unbeaten “El Clasico” games on their trot and Real Madrid has not scored in three consecutive games against Barcelona. Moreover, Zidane is now unbeaten in his 5 managerial games at Camp Nou in all competitions (W2 D3). Further, This was the first goalless draw in the league between Barcelona and Real Madrid since 2002, and just the second in the last 30 years. Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema stayed at 12 goals each after the match.
There was a political protest in the 55th minute of the match when so many yellow peach balls hurled on to pitch in the name of Catalan Nationalism. There was a distinctive smell of smoke around the stadium. A match that had so much tension around and outside it but almost none on the pitch. Now let’s discuss the Match Review in detail.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Match Review:
Barcelona vs Real Madrid started in a very calm and quiet manner with both teams approaching the game with extreme caution due to the incredible significance of the match. Six players made their “El Clasico” debuts. From Barcelona, it was Griezmann, De Jong, and Fati, whereas from Madrid , it was Rodrygo, Mendy and Valverde. Madrid pressed the opposition from the start and dominated Barcelona in the opening 45 minutes of the game.
In opening minutes, Messi launched a dangerous lofted pass to Jordi Alba running down the left flank who tried to give it to Suarez but couldn’t reach him. Gerrard Pique made a goal-line clearness from Casemiro’s header through a set piece. Similarly, Sergio Ramos performed similar heroics by blocking a shot of Messi in front of the goal area. Then we saw two well-struck efforts by Valverde which were denied by Ter Stegen. Two definite penalties were robbed from Real Madrid by referee Hernandez.
In the highlight of the second half, We had a goal chalked offside against Mendy after Gareth Ball converted it to the nets. Neither side was at their best in the final third especially. We are happier among two sides because we got one point from away fixture but it could have been converted into a victory. Let’s take a look at our starting lineup for Barcelona vs Real Madrid.
Thibaut Courtois started at No.1 sport in the El Classico. He was looking eager and was quick in his decisions. His feet movement was also very good. Courtois had a couple of saves in the match. His opponent MATS was incredible and easily the best player on the pitch.
In the heart of Defense, Sergio Ramos and Varane started the game. Sergio Ramos cleared the ball many times when everybody was panicking. He almost played the second half with a sprained ankle which shows his commitment and value for playing in Real Madrid. He denied Messi’s shot which was surely a goal if it wasn’t for his heroic effort. In the defense, he was the leader. Ramos sorted himself high on the pitch and capitalized Casemiro in between Varane and himself.
Varane, on the other hand, was looking sharp in the field. He completed his passes diligently when compressed from the forward line. Varane definitely deserved at least one penalty from Barca’s rash tackles, especially from his fellow Frenchman Lenglet. He did good defending against Griezmann and outplayed him.
On the Right Back, Dani Carvajal was helpful in attack and defense both. Dani Carvajal did everything right in blocking the ball. On the other hand, The Frenchman was honouring Marcelo’s position with his quick and decisive actions with the ball.
Zidane opted diamond midfield with Isco in a free role. The other midfielders were Kroos, Valverde, and Casemiro. It worked great for us in pressing mostly. The role of Casemiro is very vital in defending and his presence provided a great cushion to our fullbacks to go forward. He was absolutely distinctive and the man of the match for me in this fixture from our side. Casemiro took a yellow card in the second half, which means he will be out of the squad against Bilbao.
Valverde emerged as a new midfield sensation for Real Madrid. He has already replaced Modric in starting eleven. With Valverde, Madrid have energy and agility in the midfield, his strikes from open space in front of the box amazed everyone. He kept great pressure on the defensive line of Barcelona. Toni Kroos is the other player in the field with an excellent work rate and control on the ball. His man-marking against Roberto urged Ernesto Valverde to change his position and introduced Vidal in his place. He equally played his midfield role very well as the main engine which connects all other to itself.
Zidane opted Isco in the free role. Isco was very useful in pressing Rakitic and literally outplayed him in the dominating phase of the first half. In the second half, Modric came on the pitch, he performed his job but I think Modric should not be replaced with Valverde. He should have replaced Kroos.
Karim Benzema played his part of the match in pressing the opposition. He also performed some defensive duties and created several chances. However, Benzema failed to make an impact in the match and looked a bit lost in the attacking phases. Whereas, Bale, on the other hand, moved himself to the midfield, marked Jordi Alba, and marginalize him very well. His goal from a cross of Mendy was declared as offside. Zidane kept Bale throughout the end to perform his defensive duties as he started his career in the defense and played for Tottenham as a Left back.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid – Tactical Match Review:
We decided to include a Tactical Match Review section for El Classico because of its importance. So, let’s start our tactical analysis and let us know if you want this section in our other fixtures. Zidane designed a constantly variable man-to-man scheme. We squeezed Barcelona with a high press and created danger by playing through balls. Barcelona expected pressing from us before the match but were not able to control it.
Despite putting pressure on Barcelona, we could not get a goal. We were looking better on the pitch. We have twice the number of shots as compared to Barcelona. Out of our 17 shots, 4 were on the target. On the other hand, Barcelona attempted 9 shots with 2 on the target. Marc Andre Ter Stegen was very impressive from the opposition and probably the man of the match for me.
Casemiro was to vacate his defensive midfield position and take Frenkie de Jong, while Isco moved inwards to Ivan Rakitić and Toni Kroos shadowed Sergi Roberto in individual marking. I divide three main points to discuss Madrid’s success against Barcelona.
- Our players gained time to get organized with their energy and work rate.
- Bale dropped himself to midfield whenever Casemiro was lazy to step up high on De Jong from the back while on the other hand, Carvajal was not giving any space to Alba on the left flank.
- Zidane imposing structure with Bale on Jordi Alba and Casemiro to De Jong.
Barcelona surely missed Busquets from in their lineup. Sergio Roberto started the match in his place. 60% of the match was covered in Barcelona’s half. We had ball-playing midfielders who took the tempo and ran over opposition’s midfield. Nobody from the Blaugrana tried to take the ball from us as we kept the pressing tight vertically as I discussed in the Match Preview. We kept the ascendency and fluidity through the midfield on the pitch.
Barcelona allowed open spaces in pressing them. Our two center backs pushed themselves high on the pitch whereas Barcelona’s backline was deeply compressed in the box with Rakitic above them. Benzema was putting pressure on Ter Stegen. So instead of passing to Rakitic, he passed the ball towards the de Jong where Madrid pressed him and recovered the ball.
Furthermore, Ter Stegen had many misplaced passes directed towards Suarez. Madrid was getting many crosses and Barcelona Team was struggling against it. We kept them tight but we couldn’t take that advantage to steal a victory. Perhaps, the result would have been different if Marcelo and Hazard both were playing the game.
Interestingly, Real Madrid was unsuccessful in pressing Barcelona in later stages of the game because of fatigue which is the one factor and second is Ernesto Valverde made a key change to drop Rakitic to form a back three after Vidal came on for Semedo in the 55th minute. The adjustment pushed Gerard Piqué and Clément Lenglet wider, creating more space and better passing angles for the Centre Backs.
Despite a good pressing scheme, the true domination of Madrid was only in the middle of the first half. We needed to win this game. The inability of chances creation cause great hindrance in goal scoring and leveled the effect of our pressing.
Casemiro was the best player for me in the Madrid side. Zidane was right to rest him before the El Clasico match. He made 10 ball recoveries and had 8 accurate long balls in the match. Not only that, he showied how good he is in the air and quick in switching the direction of play. Casemiro is having his best season at Real Madrid. He is now mature enough and already won everything at Real Madrid. Casemiro of today is much changed from Casemiro of 2-3 years back. He improved in his tackling and avoided cards this season as compared to his previous season. He is the core unit of Real Madrid.
There are other players who performed better i.e. Sergio Ramos and Valverde but for me, Dani Carvajal was very impressive last night at Camp Nou. His passing success is above 90% and put accurate crosses in the box. He also created 2 important chances. Dani Carvajal was amazing in marking Griezmann from the left flank. He did not provide any room to him in the back.
Anyways, guys, this is it from the Match Review of Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Even though the El Classico ended as a draw, we have the same points as Barcelona in League Table and in prime position to win La Liga. What do you think about our El Classico performance? Where do we stand currently, and what do we need to improve? Most importantly, what are your thoughts on our Tactical Match Review of the El Classico? Let us know in the comments section below. Until the next time, Hala Madrid!