Barcelona once again collided with the wall of Real Madrid. The first official Classic played away from Spain meant the fifth consecutive merengue victory against an opponent who does not know what it is to defeat him since March 2, 2019, about three years ago. The good news in Barca was his growth and the ability to treat a rival who was supposed to be far above. The good news in white code was that his DNA remains unchanged: winning is the main thing, without paying much attention to how.
Barça played a lot and well. And he competed even better. “We still need to win, but we have competed very well”, resolved Piqué at the end of the crash, summarizing the feeling of a team that has been in depression for too long and is seeking, under Xavi’s command, to rediscover its essence. He is on the way or so it seemed in Riyadh, where the Barça coach did not hesitate to gamble when he understood the need to do so, having to be satisfied with the response of his team.
He played for Barça and Madrid won, which is by no means an unknown story when referring to what each team is and what it pretends to be. Ancelotti’s men enjoyed a very comfortable opening half hour but the Barça rebellion, after Vinicius’s goal, returned to the plane that Xavi’s group has a lot to be proud of in terms of football. Recovering self-esteem is a step forward for Barça, perhaps insufficient for some but clear in general.
That in soccer, it is not always who deserves it that wins but whoever is more successful could move to this Riyadh Classic. Busquets pitifully and fatally lost the ball at 0-1, Dani Alves conceded a wrong goal to Mendy at 1-2 and both the loss of Dembélé and Alba’s weak defense to Rodrygo led to the final 2-3. “We have lost due to our mistakes” Xavi lamented, satisfied, yes, by the capacity of his team.
“We have been superior, we have had 3-2 and also 3-3. We have dominated them when we have gotten rid of the complexes … But we have been penalized for mistakes,” the Barça coach summed up in a clear explanation of what that his team suffered.
Errors that penalized him badly and caused a certain frustration in Barça who lost their fifth consecutive Classic against a rival who should not have asked so many questions. He won, the main thing in football, and left any other argument for another time.