Fran-Soul – El Classico 2013/14
When you hear that El Clasico is less than a week away it makes the hair on any football fan's skin stand up - especially this year.
Messi and Ronaldo go head-to-head once again, and just to add to the already fascinating fixture, we have the new recruits Neymar and Bale
Barca faced Milan in the Champions league. This fixture produced one the best matches of last season and it seems this would be the case once again. Madrid welcomed Turin giants Juventus who have had quite a sluggish run of form recently and they underlined their underdog status, being torn apart by the greasy haired Portuguese . Either way this was the perfect build up to a Clasico with no team having an easy match prior to the big one.
Messi vs. Ronaldo
The usual battle that draws the attention of the whole planet as the two best in the world go head-to-head. You can always expect these two to bring the goods. Ronaldo has grown to love playing against Barcelona every year as he seems to score every time he plays and his record this year is one to admire. Messi has had a bit of a knock that seems to be affecting his game a little, but many expect to see him well prepared for the El Clasico.
Bale vs. Neymar
The new ,and very promising, rivalry mainly inspired by the fans of both teams, this will be very interesting to watch if both players bring their A game, something that has been lacking as of late.
Benzema vs. Himself
The Frenchman has been struggling for form and the patience of the Madrid fans is quickly running thin. Ever since he got the main striker role that he so longed for, he has rather started to rest on his laurels. The competitions that G. Higuain brought was vital in the form of the Frenchman. There have been some positives during the International break but whether the Frenchman will capitalize on this is still a mystery.
There are some new players that will be feeling the pressure of the magical El Clasico for the first time, mainly Real Madrid players. The pressure is mainly on the new coaches rather, that will have the spotlight shining on them, possibly more than they ever experienced in their career.
The Aftermath : Not so Classic Clasico
Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid
Alexis Sánchez 78′
Jesé Rodríguez 90+1′
The Madrid fans will feel a bit sour after the scenes from the Nou Camp for a couple more months to come until the reverse fixture is played in Madrid. There were a lot of dull moments in this match something that is very unusual of the Clasico.
Barcelona were a house on fire and Ancelotti’s tactics did not do any justice to the Real Madrid team as they failed to cope with the pressure. Sergio Ramos was playing in the midfield and we saw the return of young Frenchman Varane. Neymar was causing Carvajal and Diego Lopez all sorts of problems, whilst on the other end; Bale was rather unresponsive at times. The referee’s decision making was sub-par at times and one moment will always remain as the main talking point of the match. The denied penalty, that Madrid fans said was deserved and blatant while the Barcelona players said it was justice to what happened in Elche
The substitutions made by both managers seemed to have a huge impact on the game later on. Benzema hit the woodwork and looked hungry to score. Alexis Sanchez came on for Fabregas to score the delightful winning goal.
Real Madrid are now six points away from the top and although the title race is not over yet, it is going to be a long, hard season for Madrid. Meanwhile Barca continue their brilliant run of form a break the jinx at last by winning the Clasico at home.
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