Despite going a goal down early on to a Neymar strike, Real Madrid hit back and beat Barcelona 3-1 thanks to a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo and second half goals from Pepe and Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu. Here are five things we learned:
Luis Suarez Likes To Make An Entrance
Luis Suarez scored on his Liverpool debut when he came on a substitute against Stoke, but with the greatest of respect to the feat of rounding Asmir Begovic and scoring via the foot of Andy Wilkinson, that wasn’t really going to prepare him for being pitched into club football’s biggest rivalry for his Barcelona bow.
As we know by now though, nothing much fazes the brilliant Uruguayan, and his assist for Neymar just 182 seconds into his competitive debut was a pretty good way to start.
Pepe Can Do More Than Just Wind People Up
All the talk centring around Pepe ahead of this game was all about how the notoriously combustable centre-back was going to spend his evening winding up Suarez and helping out Real in that fashion, but instead he borrowed something from Suarez’s game and scored a crucial goal.
The Portuguese is by no means prolific but he came up with a crucial header in the early moments of the second period here, and helped to keep Barca’s stellar attack quiet after their explosive start.
Barcelona’s Great Defensive Record Was Down To Poor Opposition
What the goal did prove, though, was that Barcelona’s defence isn’t the rock solid structure that the stats suggest.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty was the first goal that Barca had conceded in La Liga this season, but when they’ve come up against better attacks – such as PSG in the Champions League and here – they have ended up being found wanting. The numbers don’t tell the whole story.
Cristiano Ronaldo Taking A Ball To The Face Is Pretty Funny
Karim Benzema Is Underrated
In any Clasico it can be difficult to move for world superstars, but the notion that Karim Benzema belongs firmly in that bracket cannot be ignored after the week he’s had.
After two goals at Anfield the Frenchman finished off a superb moved to pretty much wrap up victory for his side when he made it 3-1, but he doesn’t perhaps get the credit he deserves due to the stellar teammates he has around him.
There are few better No. 9s in the world.
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