MADRID.— Real Madrid regained the leadership of LaLiga Santander thanks to Vinicius’ cheek prize, the best of a classic that measured styles to end up rewarding vertigo and the maximum delivery of the Zinedine Zidane players, who were resurrected after being saved in the first act by Thibaut Courtois and ended ecstatically with Mariano’s second goal.
The classic of Spanish football has become a pulse of styles. Marked by a psychological factor that conditioned Real Madrid, with its season again at stake before its eternal enemy, and which favored a Barcelona with recent memories of triumphs under the devastating leadership of Leo Messi.
For those of Zidane it was to get up or jump into the abyss without a network and they took out their winning gene. With more margin, Setién sought to damage from possession and that is difficult for Barcelona to face. Real Madrid tried to start, always more vertical, playing with rhythm and quality. He contrasted with the chloroform that the Barca players put into him, feeling that his moment would come later and that at the beginning it was best to contain the Madrid rush.
Real Madrid fought against the rival and his lack of mordant up. His dominance was unproductive in the first act, with centers from the sides that never find a finisher. With Benzema collapsed due to his bad streak of six games without a goal. All exposed to the madness to which Vinicius leads, as willful as he was erratic in his final decision until he found the goal prize. Until that moment he lost his balance but he did not decide well in that final moment that separates the good players from the geniuses.
The vertigo that Zidane sought was helped by the risk he took with Marcelo, the starter against all odds. Everything was at stake with those who last year ran out of options in March. Setien reinforced his midfield with Arthur. He populated it to always take care of the ball. No hurries. The opportunities with Messi always end up coming. With possession, he sought to nullify the rival’s virtues. He forced Jordi Alba, recently recovered, and found an offensive path he needed.
In the Zidane-Setién tactical duel, a key was where to dial the pressure. And Real Madrid tried to keep it high until it had to back down. There he began to suffer. Their arrivals were never in danger for Ter Stegen who watched as Benzema and Kroos kicked into the clouds. A single intervention before the shot full of innocence of Vinicius, the only one that generated an imbalance in the Barca defense.
Barcelona breathed with the ball. Locking up Real Madrid in his field reduced the risks and increased his options because Messi began to come into play and measure rivals. Marcelo had forgiven, without seeing Isco just to score, when the first Barça warning came. Leo’s eternal connection to Jordi Alba appeared and Griezmann forgave left-handed. It was the move that changed the landscape. Real Madrid, as against City, began to fear their weaknesses.
After becoming the first player to have won the Ballon d’Or six times, Lionel Messi hoped he still had several more years of prodigious football left.
And Courtois appeared with the role of savior. Sure before two shots by Messi, one only after a measured chopped pass by Busquets, and shrinking to come out the winner hand in hand with Arthur. The game was already that of Barça while the Madrid team were dying in Benzema’s forced shot attempts and he could not find solutions to the break marks that found spaces in the center of his defense.
Real Madrid understood that only from the maximum delivery on each ball could the classic decant in their favor. Biting up and recovering in the opposite field. Feeling the breath of the Bernabéu that pushes so much when he sees his people give everything they have. It was what he did in the second half to balance the points to the fight before delivering a blow that sent the rival to the canvas.
It seemed impossible to beat Ter Stegen who flew to take a direct shot at Isco’s squad. Carvajal’s deployment stood out when the match was marked by the physicist, wanting to remove the thorn from his black night against City. The measure was given to Isco who caressed the goal with a header that beat the goalkeeper but not Piqué who saved on the goal line.
“Funny moment with my babies,” the footballer wrote next to the image on his Instagram account. Look at the photo and tell us what you think.
Carvajal appeared on all sides. A new center found Benzema who hooked her up on the volley. Real Madrid had turned the game around with courage, installed on a rival field. Setien’s reaction was to get Braithwate and as soon as he left he looked for Marcelo’s back. He saw closely the goal, again fast and decisive Courtois, and in the next action came the Madrid Real.
Kroos, the great absentee of the ‘Champions’, invented the pass to space thanks to the movement of Benzema that dragged Semedo. Vinicius appeared with spaces and his shot diverted him to the Piqué network, making the Brazilian the hero of the classic.
Barcelona disappeared, like Messi, in the second half. He tried to pull with pride to equalize the duel but Piqué headed up the only chance. Marcelo celebrated as a goal to win a race against Messi and avoid the draw when Zidane turned to Mariano. He had not played a single minute in the league and the first ball he touched sent him to the net with quality. The scorer that Real Madrid so badly needed had him in the stands. The script of the League overturned.
John Viáfara faces charges related to drug trafficking.
. Data sheet:
2 – Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro, Valverde (Lucas Vázquez, m.86), Kroos, Isco (Modric, m.79); Vinicius and Benzema (Mariano, m.90).
0 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, De Jong, Arthur (Rakitic, m.81), Vidal (Braithwate, m.69); Messi, and Griezmann (Ansu Fati, m.81).
Goals: 1-0, m.71: Vinicius. 2-0, m.92: Mariano.
Referee: Mateu Lahoz (Valencian school). He admonished Vinicius (m.11) and Carvajal (m.18) for Real Madrid; and Jordi Alba (m.18) and Messi (m.85) for Barcelona.
Incidents: match corresponding to the twenty-sixth day of LaLiga Santander, played at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium before 78,357 spectators.