Real Madrid – Barcelona – 0: 4, match review and statistics, March 20, 2022, Spanish Football Championship

Blimey! Real Madrid lost to Barcelona at the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu. After this game, it is particularly sad that the Catalans are far behind Madrid during the season and are unlikely to have a chance to compete for gold.

Real Madrid’s biggest loss before El Clasico was Karim Benzema. The “creamy” coach Carlo Ancelotti, answering the question who will replace the injured French center forward, asked journalists and fans a riddle.

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“Benzema and Medi will not play tomorrow. They will start working with the team next week and will be here with us. We have no reason to take risks. I have already decided who will replace Benzema, but I will not tell you who I chose. An alternative for Benzema? Bale, Mariano Diaz, Jovic, Isco, Rodrigo. We have many options. “We will choose the one that best suits this game,” Ancelotti told a pre-match press conference.

Even Xavi spoke about Benzema’s absence. The Barcelona coach did not respond in the style of “it is not necessary”, but admitted that this is a problem for Madrid: “Benzema is one of the top nine in the world. This is a significant loss, but it will not change our approach to the game. But Real Madrid is strong.

As a result, after difficult discussions, Ancelotti replaced Benzema with … no one.

When the match started, it turned out that Real Madrid was playing without any center forward. In front were, alternately, Luka Modric and Federico Valverde. Ancelotti relied on the advantage in the center of the pitch, and the attack – on the wingers Rodrigo and Vinicius Jr. who, in fact, played the role of striker in the attack from the sidelines and half, who, in fact, played the role of attackers in difficult to describe the figure of the Italian coach.

Real Madrid almost scored an early goal when Valverde just shot from Vinicius’s pass (Marc-Andre ter Stegen pulled the hardest ball), but in general, Ancelotti’s plan did not work. Barça dominated, constantly finding options in the midfield and moving the ball quickly and, despite the large number of creamy midfielders, brought its possession to 63%. Xavi’s team also used excellent collective selection in the other half and to help Pierre-Emerick Obameyang, the agile Pentry went up to the central defenders. Madrid, on the other hand, did not put so much pressure on the opponent, often defending positions. In this situation, the Catalan center-backs felt as if they were on a picnic: with the ball on them, there was minimal pressure, and no ball.

At one point a whistle was heard at the Santiago Bernabeu. The home side’s fans realized that it would not end well. Ferran Torres’s side “turned the vertebrae” of Danny Carvajal, but the goal again came from the right side of the attack of the guests. It turned out that it was not easy in Barcelona: Usman Dembele faced Nacho one on one and Militao missed Obamayang in the penalty area.

But it is impressive that even at 0: 1 the nature of the game has not changed. After the first half, Real lost in shots with a score of 4: 9 (accurately – 2: 5), in assists in the third third – 26: 121! Madrid’s best moment ended with a crazy simulation of Vinicius Jr.: did the Brazilian really believe that in the VAR era this would work in a match against Barça? Xavi’s second goal also did not result from a thin rally. A simple corner in the right spot and a wrong timing of the jump by David Alaba. Ronald Araujo’s goal made Ancelotti bored.

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The reaction of the Real Madrid coach to the disastrous 45 minutes is a double change. In the second half, the four of the “creamy” defenders looked like (from right to left): Nacho – Militao – Casimiro – Alaba. That is, the Italian made three changes to the line, which should be the most played and reliable. In the attack, a striker finally appeared – Mariano Diaz.

What resulted from this? Going one-on-one in Barça’s very first attack after the break, which Ferran spoiled, and two goals against the “creamy” in five minutes. Torres scored from a pass by Obamayang, Obamayang from a pass by Torres. These two, in free space, did what they wanted with the defense of the leader of the Examples. Moreover, in the first case, it all started with the loss of a key battle in the fresh Eduard Kamavinga. Real Madrid disputed the fourth goal of the guests, talking about offside, but even that day the VAR was not on the side of the hosts.

After an hour of football at El Clasico, it got boring. Nobody really expected that. And Barça was not to blame for that, returning fans to the Santiago Bernabeu at a time when Xavi himself was shining with his team. The main match of the spring spoiled the mediocre game of Real Madrid. I wonder if Madrid would be so desperate with Benzema in the team?

Madrid wore black in El Clasico. It turned out to be symbolic: it was a “rainy” day for Ancelotti. The final score in the shots on goal – 4:10, in the goals – 0: 4. This defeat is unlikely to affect Real Madrid’s chances in the title race, but the aftertaste due to the defeat caused by Barça will remain unpleasant. Memories will crush and stifle emotions. And Xavi is the main character of the night. His team game is a masterpiece. In the end, the coach released his old friend Danny Alves on the field, so that the Brazilian could play his 400th match for Barcelona.

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