Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona

LiveSoccerTV – Real Madrid – El Clasico

Disgusting.

See what others are saying at the Real Madrid Offside Blog.

Real Madrid lost the first leg of the quarterfinal matchup against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey today. Ronaldo scored the only first half goal, coming in the 11th minute, courtesy of a beautiful pass from Benzema. Early in the second half, Puyol equalized. Later in the second half, Messi assisted Abidal for the winner. Swell. Now Barca have the major upper hand in the next match. In fact, it is pretty much one sided now: Barca have home field advantage; they have the W; they have 2 valuable away goals. Realistically, it’s fair to say that we are out of the Copa del Rey now.

And what gives with all the cheap shots? Both Pepe and Coentrao should be punished for their blatant disregard, disrespect, and discreditable behavior towards Messi. Pepe stomped on Messi’s hand–a red card worthy offense–while Coentrao shoved Messi’s head–at least a yellow card worthy offense. Please, can we play like men? Please, can we show class? Please, can we be quality sportsman? Dispense with the un-sportsman-like conduct, as it is unbecoming of professional, world-class footballers. The club should punish them. Don’t wait for the league board take action. Fabregas too should be punished by his own club for his stud-strike on Pepe, but we must leave it to them to take action. We must lead by example.

Shameful.

Anyway, it was good to see Ronaldo score. He was very influential in the first half, but he seemed to forget there are two halves in the game and didn’t show up for the latter half. Now that he has finally scored against Barcelona, maybe he will boost his confidence through this weekend and take some momentum with him to Nou Camp next week. We will need it. And since he scored and Messi didn’t, perhaps his confidence will further bolster itself, showing that he has an upper hand in their feud, if one can call it that.

What will it take to beat Barcelona? Control our defense, flood the midfield, and play the counter attack. Don’t press. That’s what I think.

Casillas
Arbeloa – Pepe – Sergio Ramos – Marcelo
Khedira – Alonzo
Di Maria – Ozil – Ronaldo
Benzema

With Khedira and Alonzo flooding the midfield defensively, we can allow Ozil to distribute offensively, and countering with Ronaldo on the left and Di Maria on the right, feeding and feeding off of Benzema along the way seems to me the right method.

Goals:

  • Alonso: 2
  • Altintop: 1
  • Benzema: 17
  • Callejon: 8
  • Di Maria: 5
  • Higuain: 17
  • Kaká: 4
  • Khedira: 2
  • Marcelo: 2
  • Özil: 3
  • Pepe: 1
  • Ramos: 3
  • Ronaldo: 27
  • Varane: 1
  • Goals for: 93
  • Goals against: 28
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