Last night’s superclasico encounter was billed as the most eagerly anticipated in years and Barca fans were left in ecstasy whilst Real’s title dreams were left in tatters.
It all started so well for Juande Ramos and his reigning champions as Gonzalo Higuain expertly headed in early on after a great cross from Sergio Ramos but it wasn’t long before Barca kicked into gear and wave upon wave of stylish forward play was to prove too much for Iker Casillas to handle.
Goals from Thierry Henry, in perhaps his best display for the Catalan giants yet, Carlos Puyol and Leo Messi put the travelling side 3-1 at the break but if it wasn’t for the heroics of the Spanish international between the Bernabeu sticks it could well have been far worse. Much like he had done against Liverpool, Iker proved himself the best keeper around, desperately trying to make up for the shoddy defending by aging Cannavaro and statue like Metzelder.
Ramos would have been buoyed by Ramos’s header from an inch perfect Robben cross cutting the gap to just one, but much as Casillas was the only defensive cog working in the Real team as was Arjen the only player threatening Guardiola’s battling back four. Thierry added a fourth and Messi almost danced his way through for a delightful fifth before making amends after some fine work from Xavi. Then Gerard Pique decided it was about time he netted in a La Liga game and went up for an attack and managed to finish sublimely to make the score 6-2, a result that wasn’t in fact flattering for the away side and could have in fact been far more impressive had it not been for Casillas.
It’s the kind of performance that would have left Guus Hiddink wondering how best to nullify the best attacking force on the planet, a team that has now managed an incredible 100 goals in the domestic league season.
It was a result, and a performance, that will live long in the memory of the Blaugranes and will surely go some way to giving the Camp Nou outfit one hell of a confidence boost as they make their way to west London in search of one thing they will surely manage….an away goal!