Madrid had gone in front after just ten minutes when Angel Di Maria raced onto Karim Benzema’s through ball and his low shot went through Barca goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto. Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has always been under appreciated, but we are now seeing his value not that he is injured. If Barca cannot sign a new goalkeeper during the summer transfer window, they will not be winning anything next season with Pinto in goal.
Despite being outplayed for most of the game, Marc Bartra levelled for Barça 22 minutes from time when he headed home Xavi’s corner, but it was the young defender who was left in Bale’s wake as he sealed his first trophy as a Madrid player.
Bale picked up the ball in just inside his own half and knocked the ball past Barta. The Barca defended tried to redirect Bale into the Barca sub bench but Bale still went past him as if he was standing still before deflecting his shot through’s Pinto’s legs. It was an amazing burst of speed by Bale, and on the big stage, with Ronaldo injured, Bale showed why Real Madrid spent so much money on him.
But in the dying moments, Barca’s big summer signing had a great chance to equalize, but could only hit the post when he should have done better.
Watching the game I could not help but think that these are two teams heading in a different direction. Barca peaked in 2011 when they won the Champions League at Wembley. Since then they have not strengthened in the right areas, and with a transfer ban for the next two transfer windows, this is not a side that is going to get better next season, but worse.