Barcelona extended their winning streak in La Liga to five games and continue to control their destiny in the Top 4 race thanks to a memorable 4-0 win away to Real Madrid in El Clásico. Barça were sublime from start to finish, utterly dominated and made the best team in Spain look completely helpless, and will go into the international break third in the table and looking simply unstoppable.
Real Madrid had the first big chance of the game when Vinicius Junior took on Ronald Araujo and found Fede Valverde at the edge of the box, and the Uruguayan’s low shot was brilliantly stopped by Marc-André ter Stegen. It was the first warning by the home team, and a sign of things to come.
Actually, it wasn’t. That was literally the only good moment Madrid had in the entire first half thanks to a truly spectacular performance by an inspired Barça team. The Blaugrana were breathtaking in the opening 45 minutes, utterly superior to Los Blancos in every phase of the game and cutting open the Madrid defense with sublime attacking football.
Barça created chance after chance and there was no answer to their movement and passing, and even after a couple of excellent early saves by Thibaut Courtois the feeling was that the visitors’ goal was just a matter of time.
It took half an hour, but the goals finally came: Ousmane Dembélé worked his magic down the right wing against Nacho and played a perfect cross into the box to find Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who headed home the opener; 10 minutes later, Dembélé got another assist as his corner kick found Ronald Araujo who also headed the ball into the Madrid net.
The only negative from the first half was that Barça didn’t score more: Aubameyang could have had a hat-trick, and Ferran Torres came painfully close with a brilliant effort. Other than that, though, Barça had played the best 45 minutes of their season and just needed to finish the job in the second half to secure all three points.
If there was any doubt about a possible Real Madrid comeback in the second half, Barça made sure to put the game out of reach within the first six minutes of the period: first it was Ferran Torres who smashed a beauty into the top corner after a spectacular backheel assist from Aubameyang; four minutes later Ferran returned the favor and assisted Aubameyang, who chipped the keeper to score his second and Barça’s fourth of the night.
The two early goals completely sucked the life out of Madrid and the Bernabéu, but Barça looked a little flat for a while and allowed the home team to have some possession and attempt a few shots on goal. It didn’t take long for Barça to reestablish their dominance, however, and they kept on attacking and trying to score more goals in the final minutes. There was no Manita this time, but it didn’t make the night any less enjoyable.
The final whistle eventually came to put an end to Madrid’s misery and give Barça their most impressive three points of the season. Not even the most optimistic Barça fan could have predicted a performance this good, and as we go into the international break there is simply no debating about the difference Xavi Hernández has made.
Barça’s back. Tell a friend.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Mariano 46’), Militão, Alaba, Nacho (Vázquez 63’); Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos (Camavinga 46’); Rodrygo (Asensio 63’), Modric, Vinicius
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Araujo, Piqué, Eric, Alba (Alves 86’); F. De Jong (Gavi 71’), Busquets, Pedri (Nico 86’); Dembélé (Adama 80’), Aubameyang (Memphis 71’), Ferran
Goals: Aubameyang (29’, 51’), Araujo (38’), Ferran (47’)