The Blaugrana’s incredible resurgence under Xavi continued as they beat their biggest rivals to extend their unbeaten streak to 12 games across all competitions.
Barcelona started with a front-three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres and Ousmane Dembele. Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong played in midfield, with Ronald Araujo being preferred at right-back over Sergino Dest who started against Galatasaray in midweek. The only notable absentee for the Blaugrana on the night was Ansu Fati, who was unavailable due to a hamstring injury.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, failed to cope with the absence of talismanic striker Karim Benzema. The Frenchman picked up a calf injury last week which has ruled him out for the foreseeable future. Carlo Ancelotti instead opted to play without a striker, with Luka Modric operating the furthest forward from midfield. Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo started on the flanks, while Nacho Fernandez came in to replace Ferland Mendy, who missed out due to injury.
The game started off on fire, with both sides spurning multiple opportunities to open the scoring. However, Barcelona finally broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when Aubameyang headed in Dembele’s cross. The goal gave Barcelona the momentum to dominate the rest of the half.
Their pressure would pay off in the 38th minute as Dembele swung in a corner which was powered home by Araujo. The goal silenced the Bernabeu as Real Madrid fans could not believe what they were seeing.
The second half started with Xavi’s side on top and they quickly ended the game as a contest when Torres put Barcelona 3-0 up after a sublime flick from Aubameyang to find him in the box. Less than five minutes later, Torrest returned the favour to the striker by finding him in the box after bringing down Gerard Pique’s pass with aplomb. The former Arsenal man did the rest, chipping the ball over an onrushing Thibaut Courtois to make it 4-0.
The striker should have had his hat-trick in the 58th minute but was not able to steer in Jordi Alba’s cross at the far post. The game ended 4-0 with Los Blancos never really looking a threat to their opposition.
Barcelona were excellent but Real Madrid should still have the La Liga title in the bag
Taking nothing away from Barcelona’s performance on the night, it was clear how much Real Madrid missed Benzema up front. Carlo Ancelotti’s side looked toothless in attack without the Frenchman as its focal point.
The result is way more significant to Xavi’s side as it shows how far they have progressed since the Spaniard took over. The Blaugrana are now 3rd in La Liga, three points behind Sevilla with a game in hand.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, are still nine points clear at the top of the league with nine games left this campaign. Ancelotti will be disappointed with the nature of the loss but should still be confident his side can see out the rest of the campaign and lift the La Liga trophy.
With that being said, here are the best Twitter reactions from Barcelona’s 4-0 win against Real Madrid: