Cristiano Ronaldo scored, but he didn’t play the second leg after being booked for diving in the first leg. Even still, Madrid were too much for a Barcelona that had Neymar, perhaps their second best player, taken from them by Paris Saint-Germain.
Dire predictions were written that Madrid would always win everything forever and that Barcelona couldn’t compete.
Still, some have doubts about Barcelona’s ability to beat the best teams or to win the Champions League, and the upcoming Clásico is a great chance for Barça to show just how far they progressed.
Barça did beat Juventus at home, and in their other big tests - Juventus away, Valencia away, and Atlético away - they have performed well. All three of those were draws, but Barça deserve plaudits. For one, they were all away from home. The Juve match was one that guaranteed Barça winning their UEFA Champions League Group. Against Atlético, they created chances and really should have won it. And they were a non-blind linesman away from beating Valencia, whom they at times dominated.
That’s all well and good, of course, but el Clásico is still el Clásico. There simply isn’t a more stark test of just how far Barcelona have progressed than beating the team that crushed them earlier.
Even if Barcelona lose, of course, they have an advantage in the league standings. A draw would probably be much better for Barça than Madrid, especially as this is also an away match. But a win? A win would represent a lot, and not just mathematically.