Barca May Have Found Their Next La Masia Star
Sergi Roberto is not one of the biggest names in a Barcelona shirt but he is proving to be one of their most important. The La Masia graduate has become a key part of Luis Enrique’s team and he shone here in the Bernabeu.
He laid on Luis Suarez’s fantastic opener with a pass fresh from the Andres Iniesta textbook. That was the fourth goal he has set up in La Liga this season, more than any other player.
With Xavi gone they needed a replacement in that midfield and in this young Spaniard they may just have found him.
Real’s Defence Has Some Serious Problems
The main one here may well be Sergio Ramos. He was at fault for the first goal and his decision to step out for the second strike was ludicrous. He dived in on a regular basis and couldn’t deal with the quality in front of him.
Barcelona cut through the Real defence at will and in the first half it could easily have been four after 45 minutes. It was strange, considering that Rafa Benitez’s men have been excellent defensively throughout the campaign.
La Liga is ultimately is decided by Clasicos and showdowns with Atletico Madrid and if Los Blancos defend like this again against Barca then they can kiss their title chances goodbye.
Iniesta Still The Master For Barca
He is one of the constants in this Barca side and on this performance it is easy to see why. He is still the master of the midfield, it’s hard to imagine anyone better.
His goal was a thing of sheer beauty. His pass into Neymar, the lay of from the Brazilian and the incredible finish from Iniesta was just sublime.
He also laid and assist on in the first half and was involved in everything good about Barcelona, and in this game that was a lot. Playing higher up in Messi’s absence has benefitted him greatly, showing the ridiculous amount of options at Enrique’s disposal. Iniesta was clapped off the pitch by the Bernabeu. Enough said.
Bravo Earns His Bacon
Barcelona were the better team by a country mile but Claudio Bravo made a number of really good saves in this game. There was a couple of long range strikes that he got down to well, one in particular from James Rodriguez in the first half.
He also kept out Ronaldo at 3-0 when the Portuguese was one on one and look destined to reduce the deficit. Bravo spread himself well and got a crucial touch to deny the Real number seven.
The saves came at key times and while they may not have been the decisive factor in the outcome of the match, his contribution was important.
Rafa May Be In The Dole Queue
The Real Madrid boss has been in a precarious position for a while. At the Beranbeu it’s not just a results business, the fans expect their team to play exciting and attacking football.
The problem is that Rafa has not set his side up to do that so far this season. He went with popular opinion for this clash and left out Casemiro, in favour of the more attacking midfield three of Kroos, Modric and James.
The experiment ultimately failed. They were pulled apart with ease by Barca and the crowd turned on their manager. There was a feeling in the capital that this could be the end for the ex-Liverpool boss.