14 Jan 2022 | 11:04 | Football
Barca lost to Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Spanish Super Cup, but the performance of the “Giant” of Catalonia made coach Xavi nod satisfied.
Mundo Deportivo called the confrontation between Barca and Real on the morning of January 13 (Hanoi time) as the most “clean” El Clasico match in many years. The two teams devoted a game with bold expertise, no tricks and created an impressive chase. Real deserved to win, but Barca performed above expectations and gained recognition from fans and media.
Coach Xavi emphasized that Barca has the right to be proud of the result of the match when they put 100% of their heart into the ball and there are many times when it makes Real difficult. The Camp Nou team dares to take risks by entering the game first and pressing hard.
Barca went ahead twice but equalized 2-2. Federico Valverde’s goal in extra time shows that Real are a stronger team. But Barca is no longer an easy opponent to bully when coach Xavi has a full set of pillars.
This match, Barca welcomed the return of Ansu Fati and Pedri. The appearance of Pedri was the turning point that helped Barca’s play change clearly in the second half. Xavi thinks that the unfortunate defeat against Real is an important turning point for Barca’s rise after a bad period.
“We were very close to Real. In La Liga, Barca was 17 points behind Real. But in this match, Barca played fairly. We completely deserved to reach the final,” Xavi said.
Barca must race against time for Torres to make his debut in the El Clasico match in the Spanish Super Cup. Before Real, coach Xavi assigned Torres the task of managing the right wing. This is the same position that Torres plays in the system of coach Luis Enrique in Spain.
However, Torres lost in Barca’s play in the first half. He was substituted after 46 minutes. Statistics from Sofascore show that Torres touched the ball 17 times and made 8 passes. Out of 6 dribbles, the 2000-born striker only succeeded once.
Dembele’s performance in the El Clasico match was the answer to why coach Xavi repeatedly stated that he wanted to keep Dembele at the Camp Nou. Sofascore gave Dembele 9.5 points in El Clasico and he was the best player on the field.
Dembele constantly torments Real defender Dani Carvajal. He touched the ball 104 times, made 54 passes, including 5 key pass situations. Dembele made 5 of 15 successful crosses. All 7 dribbling situations of the French player were successful in this match.
Marca said that Dembele’s form will make Barca more headaches for the future of this star. Dembele’s current contract will end after the 2021/22 season. The Camp Nou team wants Dembele to either extend or leave right in the mid-season transfer window to help the club collect money.
But Dembele wants to be awarded a contract with a higher salary or stick to the end of the season and leave on a free transfer. 90 Min emphasized: “Dembele has a reason to demand a better contract”.
Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior respectively scored against Barca. In the opening situation, Benzema passed Junior to escape and the Brazilian striker handled it neatly to score.
The brilliant performance in the El Clasico match further confirmed the position of Benzema and Vinicius as the best “side-by-side” pair at the moment. They contributed 38 goals and 15 assists after more than half of the 2021/22 season for Real.
“The explosion of Benzema and Vinicius overshadows Real’s shortcomings”, ESPN pointed out the performance of Real’s attack is solving problems in their defence. Not only this El Clasico match, Benzema and Vinicius took turns “saving” Real with decisive goals from the beginning of the season.
Eder Militao played the worst in the Real team in this match (with a score of 6.1 points by Sofascore ). Nacho, who replaced David Alaba, was matched against Luuk de Jong and Barca. Nacho’s performance in the second half of the match improved but not significantly. Once again, the defense showed that it was Real’s weakest line and always made “White Vultures” fall into insecurity.
Real did not keep a clean sheet in the last 5 matches. Midfielder pair Militao and Alaba no longer maintain stable performance as at the beginning of the tournament. The wings of Real’s defense are also unstable when there is no stable player. When Ferland Mendy was injured, coach Ancelotti had to place Alaba on the left to fill the position.
On the right side, Lucas Vazquez and Carvajal have not yet created absolute trust with coach Ancelotti. The 3-2 victory over Barca is a warning for Real because they cannot compensate for winning the big matches forever.