|Cristiano Ronaldo scored again at the Camp Nou|
Real Madrid demonstrated in the first half that it is able to adapt to all types of situations. Barcelona, the home team, dominated possession and the Whites, well aware of the fact that they likely have the best counterattack in the world, pressuring the home team’s passing and awaiting their opportunity. The first fifteen minutes of the match passed with no apparent danger, with both teams making their intentions known.
The first chance fell to Barcelona, although they had to wait 28 minutes; a through ball from Alves to Messi, two metres from the penalty spot, who shot wide from in front of goal. The Argentine could have put his team ahead again ten minutes later, but his solo effort ended in the same fashion as his previous shot, wide of the goal protected by Casillas.
Real Madrid demonstrated maturity and defensive solidity. Their display on the turf at the Camp Nou saw reward at the half-hour mark when a counterattack started by Cristiano Ronaldo, continued by Özil and then Callejón was almost completed by Benzema whose through ball was cleared by Mascherano for a corner when CR7 was waiting to finish the move. Two shots from the home side from the edge of the area, one of which was on target, the first in the game, brought the first half to an end. There had been few chances for both teams, two yellow cards for Real Madrid (Alonso and Arbeloa) and one for the home side (Mascherano).
The match did not take long to change entirely. Ten minutes was all Cristiano Ronaldo required to make the most of an Özil corner and put his team ahead with a header. The Portuguese player stole into the box to get ahead of Busquets and scored, ecstatic to be scoring once again at theCamp Nou. By scoring the goal, CR7 becomes the only player in the club’s history to score for the fourth game in a row against Barcelona.
The away side’s joy was short-lived. A long pass from Mascherano from the halfway line was met by Pedro, who beat Casillas with a shot across goal. The goal, which was scored from an offside position, equalised a clash that was starting to liven up due to the clear opportunities created by both sides. Mourinho, aware of the impact of the goal, wanted to give his team more speed and cutting edge up front. Higuaín replaced Benzema, exhausted from all his work, in minute 60. Four minutes later, the Argentine’s move arrived at the feet of Callejón, who shot wide from the edge of the area. The Real Madrid youth team player was replaced by Di María in minute 65’.
The match was wide open, entertaining, but the balance was tipped in Barcelona’s favour with the penalty awarded to Barcelona for the foul committed by Ramos on Iniesta in minute 69. Messi took the penalty and put his team ahead, and eight minutes later they scored the third in a move started by Iniesta and finished Xavi, beating Casillas in a one-on-one.
It appeared that the match was drawing to a close, but this Real Madrid team never surrenders; it comes with putting on the Madrid shirt and is part of its philosophy and with five minutes remaining in the clash Casillas and Di María played an important part in the final result. An unbelievable stop by the Real Madrid captain in a one-on-one with Messi and Adriano beat Di María in the counterattack, passed the ball to Valdés in the home side’s goal and in an attempt to dribble past the Argentine, lost the ball to Di María, who slotted the ball into the goal calmly to silence the Camp Nou. 3-2 was the final result and leaves the title to be decided at the Santiago Bernabeu. Next Wednesday, the Madrid fans will witness how the first title of the season is decided.
Stadium: Camp Nou
Goals: 0-1: Cristiano Ronaldo, min.55. 1-1: Pedro, min.56. 2-1: Messi (pen), min.65. 3-1: Xavi, min.77. 3-2: Di Maria, min.84.