Sunday, 22 November 2015


yesterday real madrid played barcelona at home . the game is essentially important as it test both teams as to how far they have come up fom the last season . the game was important for real madrid since they were outplayed last season . the last game between barca and madrid was dominated by barca and this game was test of rafa benitez's credentials as to how much he has his stamp on  the team . this game not only gives phychologial boost but it gives bragging rights in the league as well .
madrid started the game with a 4-2-1-3 formation with ronaldo,benzema and james at top while bale played just off the front three . modrid and kross were stationed in front of the back four which consisted of danillo,varane,ramos and marcelo. while barca started with 4-3-3 formation with suarez up top with neymar and sergio roberto alongside him . iniesta,busquestus and rakitic made the middle three . the back four consisted of alves,piques,mascherano/mathieu and alaba.
now real madrid had mouriniho and ancelotti before rafa benitez . both of those teams had been counter attacking team with jose mouriniho being particularly successful against barca with this hard counter attacking style . his team would sit back and soak barca attack and then  attack on the counter . ancelotti's team too hadnt been different but then there had change of guard at barca and barca had changed their style last season . barca instead of pressing up started sitting back and hit teams on the counter and that had yeild them treble last season . now the pressure was on  rafa this season to be different than the rest of the madrid teams from before .
now the game started with a very decent pace with madrid pressing and barca being able to play around . madrid started the game with high pressing but barca were able to play around and move the ball forward . the real reason why barca were able to play forward and move the ball because madrid's pressing was not proper . it was individualistic rather than a team effort . player's who's opposite number had the ball would go on and press but there was no team effort in that . they would not press the players to whom the ball can be passed or the ones that were options on the pass .  the trouble with madrid that the team was too much open there was too much of space between the lines and at times you could literally see kross and modric treading back trying to cover the space in front of the back four . most of the barca goals came in  that zone and madrid time and time were not able to close that space . in jose mouriniho's time this space would not be there . jose mouriniho's team would deny any space in front of the back four . the real reason why barca were getting this space because both kross and modric were trying to press barca's midfield and were getting played around . the warning signs for madrid were there from the start when iniesta found sergio roberto who didnt showed enough courage to take the shot and scuffed it .

for barca to be effective suarez's movement on and off the ball was very important . he would come deep and help move the ball forward . but the real trouble was that initially madrid tried to press suarez but they were getting overrun in the midfield and when they tried to press up barca was getting the space behind the back four to explore . the trouble with madrid was not the defense but the offense . if your offense is good then  the opposition doesnt dares to actually committ too many players on offense . madrid had no offense . first off the front four had no cohesion between them . madrid didnt had a front pivot around whom they could play their offense . whoever has the ball would try to cross or shoot but there was no coherent team play . initially bale was playing as the no.10 but he never looked like one who could control the tempo of the game . kross and modric had the double responsibility of both defending the back four as well as creating chances for the team . while suarez was very effective for barca ronaldo just couldnt put his stamp on the game . if it can be put into simple words then the team has no offense and defense . they were trying to press but were getting played around and barca were creating chances on every play when they had the ball .
to be honest this had the poorest performance by any madrid team which didnt had any plan . along the years i had known that rafa benitez tends to make changes or improvise as the game rolls on but here he just seem hopeless and the system that he created didnt had any answer for barca onslaught and most important intrying to be different they were hammered by a very good barca side who could literally choose the zone to explore and milk it .