Post-Clásico Thoughts

A quick look into what I believe where the crucial elements to Barça winning this grudge match.

Gerard Piqué becoming a defensive rock.

Piqué is often criticised as being too immature, not focused enough and many claim he has lost it. Well Piqué blew those arguments out of the water against Real Madrid. He was seemingly everywhere, winning aerial battles, making regular goal-saving tackles and he forced Madrid back when they looked in control.

To put it into context, he made five interceptions and two tackles while his Madrid counterpart Pepe made five tackles and one interception. Without Piqué Madrid would have surely been out of sight during their period of dominance.

Iniesta's return to the top of his game.

There's no denying, Iniesta had a slow start to the season. He didn't feature as regularly as he was used to and many predicted an off-season for the playmaker. But since the turn of the year, his form has been immense and that cumulated in tonight's performance. He was magnificent and started the game with a glorious goal. Breaking clear from Carvajal before riffling the ball past a helpless Diego Lopez.

From here he never looked like stopping. Like Xavi, everything goes through Iniesta and he had total of 104 touches during the game, almost more then double of any Madrid player. His passing was also excellent, 85 passes with an accuracy of 91%. As Dani Alves calls him, Don Andrés was certainly at his best tonight.

Fàbregas did the unglamorous job beautifully.

It was clear from the start of the game that Fàbregas had been assigned the job that needed doing but wouldn't get any headlines. He was there to break up Madrid's midfield and stop Luka Modric. Fàbregas was never going to be the one on the newspaper covers tomorrow but you can tell he did his job well by the fact Modric was barely seen all game.

Lionel Messi becomes the all time top-scorer in Clásicos.

There doesn't need to be much more said, does there? Once in a lifetime player. Lo mejor.

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