Barcelona look to sweep the season from under Real Madrid’s feet


There is an old adage,  “you can never have too much of a good thing.” With a second clash in four days between La Liga’s two marquee clubs, the football world will definitely test that adage.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, met earlier this week in the second leg of the semi-final in the Copa del Rey at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Barcelona coming away with a 3-0 victory that was closer than the final score suggests.

Madrid played to a draw in the first half, creating chance after chance against a Barcelona team forced to absorb pressure, rather than dictate play.  The attacking duo of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were kept at bay, while Madrid’s youngster, Vinicius Jr. really turned up the pressure against Barca’s back four.

Following a second half breakthrough goal by Suarez in the 50th minute, Madrid still continued to stay aggressive but a 59th minute own goal by Raphael Varane seemed to have broken their spirits.  A Suarez penalty effectively ended the match in the 73rd minute.

Los Blancos will hope things will be different on Saturday.

Perhaps the most notable thing from their two-legged defeat were the performances of Vinicius Jr. The Brazilian had good chances throughout and has added a spark to Madrid since being blooded into the first team.

While the young play maker from Rio was effective against Barcelona, his veteran teammates were not. Relying on an 18 year old to be the lead man in your attack, no matter how talented he may be, is not an effective strategy for a team that boasts the likes of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio on your roster.

Benzema and Bale have combined for seven goals in the last five Liga games, but have traditionally struggled against Barcelona. Benzema has just nine goals in 34 games against their most fierce rivals while Bale has only found the net twice against the Catalan giants

All three of these goalscorers have vastly under performed this campaign season, totaling just 19 goals in all competitions. If Madrid hope to avoid a fourth loss to their bitter rivals on the season, one of these three high priced, prolific goal scorers need to contribute this Saturday.

The profile of these two teams seems to dictate that every meeting has huge implications throughout the world of football but Saturday’s meeting has especially high stakes.

If Real Madrid pull off the victory, it will give both Atletico Madrid and themselves a lifeline in the title race with twelve fixtures remaining in La Liga.

A win for Barcelona will effectively end the La Liga title race for Real Madrid and give the Catalans an embarrassing season sweep of their rivals.



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based in Frederick, MD, USA. Multi-sport correspondent for Prost International and Prost Amerika focusing mainly on Soccer/Football and American Football

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