Barcelona won tonight’s match with goals from Mathieu, through a header on a perfect cross from Messi, and Luis Suarez who split the defense on a long ball and scored. Cristiano had scored the equalizer by putting away on a beautiful back-heel from Benzema.
When the referee blew the final whistle on tonight’s match I had mixed feelings. I was disappointed we couldn’t snatch a tie in the end but the way the team played gave me hope for the rest of the season.
Before the match started I told everyone who would listen that in 2 months Real Madrid could not have become so poor and Barca so great. I knew Barcelona was not a clear favorite and the first 45 minutes of play proved that I wasn’t wrong. After a strong start and score from Barcelona, Real Madrid didn’t back down, they actually started taking control of the match. If we hadn’t missed some clear chances like Bale in point blank range we would have taken a well deserved lead. Even after Suarez struck the go-ahead goal Real came back fighting and started attacking the Barcelona goal again. Eventually fatigue started taking over and we gave the ball and the chances back to Barcelona. We were lucky in the end to keep the advantage on goal average by only losing by 1. (That would also be thanks to Saint Iker who hasn’t been great lately but made some great saves in the end.)
The big consolation for me was that I could see fight in this team again. This put joy in my heart and a smile on my face. This is the team that looked like they could care less playing against Schalke and almost losing, the same team that lost in Bilbao and got crushed by Atleti 0-4. I hate seeing the Bernabeu boo its players, but being so fed up with Real’s lack of ambition of late even I started to support a little booing in the Bernabeu.
If we can continue to play like today, where everyone attacks and everyone defends and everyone gives their all, we have a chance to go all the way in Champions. If this Liga ends up anything like last year we still have a shot as well.
Even though we lost, I see today as a turning point. Today is the day we got back on track. We can win or lose, but we can’t tolerate is everyone not giving 100%.
Congratulations to Barcelona. You’ve won the battle, but not the war! Not yet.