Real Madrid vs Barcelona 2021 | Clasico Carlos Carpio gives his opinion
Real Madrid have taken top spot in LaLiga Santander after beating Barcelona in an epic Clasico, displaying the kind of fight and courage which we haven’t seen in a long time. Los Blancos put in a heroic performance in a match on which much of their title hopes rested on. You can’t tell me that it’s not heroic to hold off Lionel Messi and co with Thibaut Courtois in goal; Alvaro Odriozola (oh, Odriozola), Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez and Ferland Mendy in defence; with Isco, Luka Modric and Marcelo in the midfield; and Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz up top. All with ten men. It’s heroic. In the minutes before, Fede Valverde got injured and Casemiro was sent off. Lucas Vazquez was taken off injured in the first half, too. With 20 minutes to go, Zinedine Zidane had decided to take off Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, thinking about the huge match they have against Liverpool and under the deluge at Valdebebas. With a depleted side, they had to try and defend their lead. They had to suffer immensely, but they did it.
To defend a lead, you first have to gain it. Real Madrid managed this thanks to a first half in which Zidane outsmarted his counterpart Ronald Koeman, who was more concerned with finding excuses for his side’s failings after the game than finding solutions during the match itself. Barcelona had much of the ball but couldn’t do anything with it, while Real Madrid were dangerous on the counter-attack, with Valverde and Vinicius capitalising on spaces left by the Azulgrana. Barcelona couldn’t cope with them. Zidane says his side are physically at their limits and that he doesn’t know how they’re going to see out the season. Right now, injuries seem like the only thing that could stop this Real Madrid side. If this is about holding on, then Los Blancos are the clear favourites, because they never stop believing in themselves.