Luis Suarez Is Fully Up To Speed Now
It is almost as though Luis Suarez needed a trip to England to rediscover his real self.
Up until last month’s Champions League trip to Manchester City it was said that the Uruguayan was struggling, and he was having a tough time adapting to his new life as merely one of Lionel Messi’s teammates and not the main man we saw at Liverpool.
You certainly can’t think that now though, and his latest telling blow came at such a crucial time as Barca took control early in the second half with a wonderfully taken goal which will have earned Suarez a place in fans’ hearts.
Unlikely Heroes Can Still Emerge
Ask the millions of football fans watching worldwide to name the 22 players who would grace the pitch from the start in this most high-profile of matches, and the chances are that Jeremy Mathieu would be the final name to come to mind.
The 31-year-old Frenchman has had a difficult time of it ever since moving to the Nou Camp in the summer, but he became the reason for the tearing up of millions of betting slips when he popped up to head home Lionel Messi’s centre to score the opener after 19 minutes.
Real Would Be Mad To Sack Carlo Ancelotti
The buzz before the game suggested that Carlo Ancelotti would definitely lose his job at the end of the season if a defeat here gave Barca the edge in the title race, but even at this most demanding and occasionally crazy of clubs, that would be a bizarre move.
Having waited so long to capture their 10th European Cup before Ancelotti guided them to it last May, releasing the Italian to another club hungry to win it – a Manchester City or perhaps an Arsenal – would be a wrong move.
Barca’s Tem Ethic Wins The Day
Essentially we are now watching this Barcelona team morph from one which was almost entirely dependant on Messi to one which can hurt you from all angles.
Neymar might not have had his best game here but then neither did Messi, and instead it was the pressing and work ethic from Barca which won the day against opponents who didn’t play too badly, but rather just weren’t allowed to play well.
Karim Benzema Is Still Criminally Underrated
In most other eras Karim Benzema’s talents would be lauded each and every week, but as he remains caught in the Ronaldo-Messi crossfire – not to mention the shells fired by Neymar, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale – the Frenchman is still underrated.
His touch for Ronaldo’s goal was superb, he then brought a fine save from Claudio Bravo in the second period as Real sought to gain an advantage which would never arrive.