Even though they’re going through a period of frustration and disappointment, Real Madrid knows that there’s no excuse for not playing their hearts out. Later this month, the club has a very important match against Manchester City. That match determines whether or not they advance to the quarterfinals of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League. Picking up a victory against their arch-rivals, Barcelona in the traditional El Clasico meeting is part of the preparation process and gives them some pride. In addition, this win helps boost Los Blancos’ confidence and motivation.
Los Blancos’ victory puts them on top of the La Liga table, as well as snap a seven-game winless streak against Barcelona. In addition, this Real Madrid’s first win at home against Barcelona since 2014. Furthermore, this win gives Zinedine Zidane his first win against Barcelona at home in La Liga play as the manager of Real Madrid. And finally, this win officially ties the all-time series between the two clubs to 96 wins apiece.
Breaking Down The Win For Los Blancos
Although Luis Suarez wasn’t part of Barcelona’s lineup, the likes of Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Arturo Vidal is more than enough to wreak havoc. However, the resiliency and concentration of a solid and well-organized Real Madrid defense thwarted all of Barcelona’s attacking threats. Barcelona would maintain more ball control and complete more passes, thus creating some heavy penetration, however, their inability to score would alleviate the pressure for Los Blancos.
Los Blancos Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made four saves, managing to keep a clean sheet. In addition, Courtois is the first Real Madrid goalie since the 1974-75 season to keep two clean sheets against Barcelona in the same season in La Liga play.
The Real Madrid attack had to pick up the pace. Although they threatened numerously, Barcelona’s defense and goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen would find a way to deny Los Blancos. Real Madrid would return the favor, denying Barcelona when they would threaten. In the 71st minute, Vinicius Jr. broke the deadlock to make 1-0 for Los Blancos. Vinicius Jr. is now the youngest player(19 years and 233 days) to score a goal in El Clasico. In injury time, Mariano made it 2-0 to seal the win for Real Madrid.
Messi would lead the Barcelona attack and have two shots on goal. Unfortunately, Messi would be denied twice. In Messi’s case, he hasn’t scored a goal against Real Madrid since May of 2018. Even Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema couldn’t put the ball into the net. Both sides excelled on defense. However, it seems that Barcelona’s defense could not pull through late in the game, and Real Madrid’s attack took advantage.
Los Blancos have two La Liga games to play before they play their second leg against Manchester City. At this point, it’s up to them to keep their momentum alive. Winning their next two games ought to further boost their confidence. In Real Madrid’s case, there’s no more room for excuses. Going into the second leg against Manchester City, they’re in a situation where it’s go hard or go home.