It’s been a rough week for Xavi – he was assured that his position was safe and assured this season was all about winning the league by president Joan Laporta. That of course meant beating Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu and his team never really came close.
Real Madrid scored from their first galloping attack. Sergio Busquets tried to stop Toni Kroos getting away from him with a foul but the German was stronger and poked the ball forward to Vinicius bursting down the left.
The Brazilian cut inside to shoot and when Marc Andre ter Stegen blocked the ball came out for Benzema who passed it back through the crowded six-yard box and into the net. One Real Madrid attack, one goal.
Madrid made it 2-0 when a long ball forward was inadvertently flicked on by Eric Garcia and the touch played Vinicius through. He kept the ball intelligently before picking his pass to Aurelien Tchouameni who played it wide left to Ferland Mendy.
The full-back was just as calm in possession. He could have driven the ball into a crowed six-yard box in the hope that Benzema or Vinicius would get the final touch but instead he picked out Fede Valverde on the edge of the penalty area.
Barcelona were slow out to close him down and with his 3rd goal against Barcelona he drilled his shot past Ter Stegen. Two Real Madrid attacks, two goals.
Ferran Torres was at the end of a move on 82 minutes and it was Barcelona’s first goal of the game. Gavi won it in midfield and played it out to Fati. His cross was converted by the former Manchester City forward at the far post.
Fati might have equalized with Barcelona’s next attack but his volley went wide from De Jong’s cross. Optimistic Barcelona supporters might have sensed an unlikely draw. But when Eric Garcia brought down substitute Rodrygo Goes and VAR spotted the foul the Brazilian slotted his kick past Ter Stegen.
Speaking following the game, Xavi did not downplay the significance of the defeat amidst the club’s struggles in Europe, but insisted that he would take responsibility for the result.
‘We have to be self-critical. We’re not doing well at all. We’re in a very bad dynamic and we have to change it immediately. I feel bad and frustrated. We weren’t as aggressive as we should have been.
‘I don’t think Madrid have beaten us in intensity but they have in maturity, they have known how to compete better, they are a more accomplished and mature team than us at the moment.
‘I won’t ever blame the players. It won’t happen. I am the captain of this ship and I take responsibility.’
El Classico Frequently Asked Questions
What is clasico match?
El Clasico is the term used to refer to football matches between Spain’s most famous and bitterest rivals: FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. The two teams meet twice during a season, with an additional two times in the Copa del Rey, Champions League, and the Supercopa de España, and possibly in the UEFA Super Cup as well
What is the meaning of El Clasico?
El Clásico (English: The Classic, Catalan: El clàssic) is a football match between two Spanish rival football clubs, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, in the Spanish football league La Liga. It is one of the most famous football matches in the world
When was the first El Clasico played?
The inaugural El Clasico was played on May 13, 1902. This match was a friendly and played 27 years before the establishment of the La Liga championship in 1929 so not official an ‘El Clasico’ match. Barcelona founder Joan Gamper scored in the match
How many times has Barcelona beat Real Madrid?
Barcelona leads the head-to-head results in competitive matches with 96 wins to Real Madrid’s 95; Barcelona also leads in total matches with 115 wins to Real Madrid’s 99 as of match played on 2 March 2019.
What is the biggest win in El Clasico?
The biggest win in El Clasico came in 1943 in the Copa Del Rey when the Los Blanco thrashed FC Barcelona 11-0 on 13 June, 1943. The second biggest win was another Real Madrid in 1935 which ended 8-2 in a La Liga fixture
Which player has scored the most goals in El Clasico?
In total, Messi has scored 25 goals against Real Madrid – well ahead Los Blancos legends Alfredo di Stéfano (who scored 18 goals against Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (17).