Real Madrid 4-1 Barcelona: Match review


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Real Madrid completed a 4-1 thrashing of arch-rivals FC Barcelona in Riyadh to be crowned the Spanish Super Cup champions with Vinícius Júnior being the wrecker in chief.

Los Blancos delivered a masterclass of attacking football and exposed the Catalans’ defensive problems with ease. It took the men in white just 7 minutes to score the first when Bellingham unlocked Vinícius Júnior with a sumptuous through ball, which Koundé was unable to intercept.

The Brazilian went around the keeper and easily put the ball into the net. It was as fitting as it gets when Vinícius, the new no.7, did Cristiano Ronaldo’s – the former no.7 – iconic celebration with the Portuguese himself being present in the stadium and also in what happens to be his new home ground.

Just three minutes later, Carvajal again exploited Barcelona’s high line and found Rodrygo for him to easily put the ball in Vinícius’ path, and the latter made no mistake to score his second goal of the night.

The five-time European champions tried their best to somehow find a way to get back into the game and even got a glimmer of hope when Robert Lewandowski’s volley pulled one goal back.

Just when it was looking like Barcelona have gotten into the game, Araujo wrestled Vinícius in the box, which resulted in a penalty. The Brazilian found the back of the net and completed a first-half hattrick in 39 minutes.

Even Carlo Ancelotti was surprised that his team would score three in the first half: “I didn’t expect us to score three so soon, but we took advantage of their high defensive line with an inspired Vinicius tonight,” he said.

For a player of Vinicius’ caliber, this season has blown hot and cold. He has scored 4 goals in 11 La Liga appearances and 2 goals in 3 Champions League matches.

But it cannot get bigger than this and he stepped up when it mattered the most. The hat trick took his tally to 6 goals in 9 finals he has played for the club.

Dismal would be a small word for the way the Catalan club performed in the 2nd half as they did not record even a single shot on target. Vinícius was also involved in the 4th goal when his shot was intercepted by Kounde only to land at Rodrygo’s legs, which led to an easy finish for the Brazilian.

The fourth goal was the final nail in the coffin and after that, it was visible that the Barcelona players had given up. The referee did not even play out any additional time and ended the game as soon as the clock hit the 90th-minute mark.

Make no mistake, this could have easily been a 6-1 or even 7-1 drubbing, the way Real’s front three had exploited their rivals’ flaws. Playing a high line against players who are technically strong, was detrimental and it proved so.

Talking about the match, Ancelotti said: “It was a difficult match, the result seems too much for the way Barcelona played. At 3-1 it was even. At 4-1, they dropped their arms a bit. We are happy.”

The Italian manager added to his silverware with this being his 27th trophy as a manager and 11th trophy as the manager of Real Madrid – the 2nd most, tied with Zinedine Zidane. Moreover, it was also an emotional moment for Nacho who won a trophy as the Real Madrid captain for the first time in his career.

On the other hand, Xavi acknowledged the fact that he was outclassed and that his team was not up to the mark, even terming it as the worst game they have played this season.

This game also showed the lack of squad depth the Catalans have, mainly due to their financial situation. Real Madrid took advantage of Barcelona’s poor defense this season, with Araujo being in poor form as he earned a red card in the 74th minute of the final, and the absence of Ter Stegen.

All in all, Real Madrid will head home with a trophy in their bag. The men in white have little rest as they take on Atletico Madrid in the Copa Del Rey Round of 16 on Wednesday.

The Merengues will also have a chance to take a 2-point lead in La Liga over the weekend as Girona dropped points in their recent game.

Bellingham showed his class, Vinícius is back in form, Real are still unbeaten when Tchouaméni starts and Lunin had a great game in goal, perhaps cementing his place as the team’s first-choice keeper in Courtois’ absence. In short, what else could Madridistas have asked for?

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