Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the El Clasico to take a four point lead on top of the table. Cristiano Ronaldo cut out Barcelona’s early lead but a second half strike from Luis Suarez was enough to give the home side a win and a good advantage on top of the table. Here are four talking points from the game.
You shouldn’t write people off so easily- Luis Suarez scores his most crucial (till date) goal for Barcelona.
Luis Suarez had a slow-ish start to his Barcelona career. He was assisting his teammates, mind, but this “unselfish” Suarez (Suarez has never been selfish in his game, mind again, but people say some extraordinary things) got people thinking that the Liverpool curse was on and the player’s best days were behind him. Despite plenty of assists, some were regarding him as a flop after the sum Barcelona paid for him. However, the Uruguayan has done exceedingly well recently and scored his seventh goal in seven games for the Catalans yesterday, and this one is his most crucial one till date. Receiving a beautiful long pass from Dani Alves, Suarez shot across Iker Casillas and into the goal. It was a beautiful finish but his first touch and control were equally mesmerizing, if not surprising especially to people who followed him at Liverpool. It was a simple goal – not a scissors kick or a rabona – but it was beautiful in its simplicity. Dani Alvesa long pass caught Sergio Ramos out of position, and Suarez just needed one silky touch to kill the ball, and a second to expertly slide the ball inside the far corner.
Neymar had a night to forget, but Bale’s was worse.
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi had a good outing but the “N” from the “MSN” Barcelona trio could had a night to forget. Missing two glorious chances, including one where he could have beaten Casillas with a simple tap-in, it just didn’t seem like Neymar’s night. Still, at least he ended up with the winning side. Gareth Bale had a very disappointing outing and failed to contribute in a match of so much importance. Bale completed just 45 per cent of his 20 passes in the opposition half. The player was anonymous for most parts of the game. The only impact the Welshman made was his one effort controversially being ruled offside.
The “dark arts” at display in supposedly the biggest club encounter in Europe
This encounter was not the best football you will see, as Cruyff later said, but it had plenty of histrionics to make it a feisty and enjoyable one for the neutral. In the first half, Luis Suarez and Pepe, both regarded as the mad men of football, collected a booking each. Suarez swiped his studs down the back of Pepea s calf and was nowhere near the ball. Cristiano Ronaldo get a yellow card for diving in what was not the only piece of simulation in the opening 45 minutes. Gary Linekar was spot on in remarking these acts are an “embarrassment to football”
There’s some wonderful football in these games, but the diving, play acting and histrionics are an embarrassment to football.
a Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 22, 2015
Could Barcelona have sealed their title?
Football is an uncertain thing and anything can happen. But Barcelona could well have sealed their title at Camp Nou through this win. Luis Enrique’s side now has a four point lead over their rivals and if they maintain their current form, the title is effectively their’s two months in advanace. Real Madrid have been very disappointing recently and Ancelotti needs to turn things around quickly if he wants to maintain hopes of a first league win with Real Madrid. However, this loss might prove to have more cost than any other.