Barcelona were quite the better side last night at the Nou Camp but sadly they were outwitted by Real Madrid. Barca lost 1-2 on their own turf and were left wondering what happened.
Barca now has to turn their attention and focus on this week’s Champions League semi final second leg match with Londoners Chelsea. Pep has insisted that they will beat the West London club and therefore make it 4 Champions league finals on the trot.
It was a mortal blow to Barcelona concerning its chances in the league, too. Real now go seven points ahead with only a handful of games left. Guardiola has all but given up his chances of retaining the title and last night he congratulated the Merengues and said goodbye to the league. Goals came from Khedira and Ronaldo and Barca’s came from supersub Alexis who came on and scored. Barca’s happiness was short lived however as just 2 minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the Blaugrana’s fate with a nice strike to make it 1-2.
It was a nicer “clasico” than recent ones, too. This one was much cleaner with less pushing and shoving and no kamikaze tackles! The only real cause for concern was when Dani Alves brought down Ronaldo who was skipping past him on the left flank and then appeared to stick out a boot after they fell tumbling to the ground. It was reminiscent of Pepe’s famous hand treading of Messi earlier on in the season.
The first goal was a bit scrappy and Puyol was at fault who let in Sammi Khedira who stuck a boot out and scored the opener. Barca’s equalizer was pretty much the same. Alexis came on and there was much pressure on the Madrid defense with a goal mouth scramble that the Chilean nudged home.
It looked as if Mourinho had read Roberto Di Matteo’s notes on how to frustrate Barca. He seemed to follow them to the letter and it was working. Barca tried to penetrate the Madrid defense but it was virtually impossible. Only young Tello managed to cause problems for Casillas and Messi was all but annulled. Alves looked like he had a bit of a nightmare down the right flank too.
It was a typical clasico game of late: Barca had possession and Madrid waited for the counter attacks. Barca didn’t seem to have any answers for Madrid’s fast counter attacking.
Barca had to lose one day and last night that day came. It’s time for Barca to pick themselves up, dust themselves and prepare for Tuesday’s duel against Chelsea. The blues owner, Roman Abramovich, has his superyacht moored in the port – you can’t miss it – it’s the biggest one there!
Barca now has to concentrate fully on tuesday’s game. Pep said that they will win and although it’s going to be a tight game, I can see it coming off.
Guardiola had this to say after the match:
He said: “The players are sad but we will be prepared for Tuesday.
“The players know the importance of the match against Chelsea. We cannot fail on Tuesday.”
So, Tuesday is D day for Barca and no doubt it’s going to be an awesome match. Will Barca make it to their fourth consecutive Champions League final?