They came, they saw, they conquered; FC Barcelona recovered from a somewhat shaky start on Sunday afternoon at the Camp Nou to run away emphatic 7-0 winners over CA Osasuna yesterday, sending a warning to title rivals Real Madrid ahead of next week's hotly-anticipated El Clasico. Lionel Messi is back firing on all cylinders, as evidenced by his hat-trick and assist; Alexis Sanchez and Pedro are back amongst the goals, and despite suffering personal tragedy that few can fathom, Andres Iniesta is at the very top of his game. Certainly, there is little to be concerned about heading into the Clasico if last night's performance is anything to go by.
Of course, Real Madrid are better than Osasuna. Much better. In fact, they are so much better, it's going to be hard to believe that we're playing in the same league next week. But, they are beatable. They struggled against Malaga; they have struggled against Atletico Madrid. They lost to us for God's sake -- who's to say we can't do it again? Hell, we need to win again to keep our title hopes alive.
However, if we head into the Santiago Bernabeu with the same principles that we had last night -- fluid movement, both of the ball, and off the ball, high intensity pressing and a relentless attitude, we should win. And with a week to prepare his side, both tactically, physically and mentally, there can be no excuses for Gerardo Martino: judgement day is upon us.