Due to a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the El Clasico, Barcelona’s perfect start to the La Liga season is over, and the Blaugrana are no longer in first place. Again, Barça made a strong start, but after their opponent scored, the defence quickly gave way. Madrid had a straightforward afternoon against a Barça team lacking confidence and receiving little support from their coach.
During the first half, Raphinha made a good save from Andriy Lunin in the first 10 minutes of play as Barça controlled possession and soon attacked between the lines. As a result of Sergio Busquets’ failure to foul Toni Kroos in midfield, a counterattack sparked by Karim Benzema’s goal was immediately launched. Karim Benzema was quickest to the rebound from a Vinicius effort Marc-André ter Stegen had to save.
The finest opportunity for Barça came when Robert Lewandowski missed a simple tap-in at the far post that would have tied the score at 1-1 halfway through the quarter. Barça responded well to falling behind and had many strong spells in the attack.
Eric Garca’s careless error at the back caused the hosts to press forward quickly, and Fede Valverde blasted a rocket from outside the box to make it 2-0. The Blaugrana continued to attack, while Madrid was happy to defend and try to score a second goal on the counter. At halftime, Barça played well but couldn’t convert their chances into goals.
Despite the two-goal deficit and a few players not performing well, Xavi Hernandez made no adjustments at halftime. Benzema scored another goal around the 60th but was considered disallowed for a narrow offside.
Madrid once again ranks first on the points table. Barca’s awful week keeps going, and questions about Xavi’s coaching are raised again. Being a supporter of Barça is difficult right now, and the optimism that had before the break for international play has swiftly vanished.