Barcelona overcame Spanish rivals Real Madrid by three goals to two in the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night to wrap up an enthralling La Liga game. El Clasico games are always set up nicely and the hype surrounding the match was heightened after Real Madrid’s performance during their midweek performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. “These are demanding games that require maximum physical and mental preparation. The fact that we made it 3-2 in the 92nd minute makes it a gargantuan morale booster,” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique after the match.
The fist goal of te game was scored By Real Madrid defensive midfielder Casemiro in the 28th minute. Four minutes later though, mercurial Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi levelled the scores. In the second half, Croatian Midfielder Ivan Rakitic scored Barcelona’s second with a rocket strike from the edge of the box, before playmaker James Rodriguez, coming off the bench, equalised in the 85th minute. With seconds remaining, Lionel Messi scored the winner. Real Madrid finished the game with ten men after defender Sergi Ramos was dismissed for a two-footed tackle on lionel Messi in the 77th minute.coach
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, however, noted Real Madrid still have a game in hand, “Madrid still have a game in hand and it will be tight until the end,” he said. He said that both teams went for the win, adding that Barcelona wanted to create more scoring chances, “We wanted to generate more scoring chances while keeping Madrid from generating them.”
He hailed Lionel Messi’s influence on the game, “Messi always generates an imbalance in midfield, and we tried to get him involved as much as possible,” he said, “To allow him to participate, we have to keep players on the defensive line. He scored his 500th goal here in the 92nd minute, and the fact that it won the game will be a beautiful milestone for Barca.”
Real Madrid have a game in hand though, and are level with Barcelona on 75 points, although the Catalans have a better head to head record. “I don’t think this defeat is definitive,” said Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, “It’s not easy to equalise a game with ten men. We had many chances and at 2-2 we almost got the third.” He said the defeat will not change their style or approach. Zidane also said the defeat will not blow their confidence, “These things happen and it’s not going to change the way we’re doing things, we were up against great opposition. It’s still down to us and we’re still going to stay positive until the end,” he said.