It is arguably the biggest night of football. Real Madrid and Barcelona are arguably the two biggest clubs in football. El Clasico is arguably the most entertaining match of this season. Admittedly, it may not have been the highest-scoring El Clasico in La Liga history.
However, it compensated for its lack of attacking prowess through some sumptuous defending. Defending have never been one of the most eye-pleasing art. Though it’s one of the most difficult. Thursday’s match was all about two of the greatest defending artists displaying their art at the most attractive exhibition of football.
Vintage Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique at display
They say when Lionel Messi is at his best, there is no one who can stop him from putting the ball inside the net except for a wall maybe. Well, Sergio Ramos ensured that he transformed himself into a wall. Real Madrid’s captain assured the Galacticos that they weren’t reeling in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Talk about clutch from Gerard Pique 😳 #ElClasico
— Football On Tap (@footballontap) December 18, 2019
Meanwhile his opposite number, Gerard Pique was at his best after a long long time. In the 16th minute, when Casemiro thought he has given the lead to Real Madrid with a header, it was Pique who denied the Brazilian an El Clasico goal with a stunning goal-line clearance.
Pique showed why he still deserved a spot in the world’s best team. However, someone who failed to justify his spot was Barcelona’s manager, Ernesto Valverde. He failed to beat a Real Madrid squad which is still finding its feet with an arguably superior squad. While his counterpart, Zinedine Zidane only improved upon his reputation. He made some smart tactical moves and some really bold team selections.
Gareth Bale provided the only attacking highlight of the match when he scored a second-half goal. Only for VAR to disallow it for being offside. The only other mentionable attacking highlight was Lionel Messi’s missed chance in the second half. When the Argentine missed his kick altogether to mess up an otherwise scoring opportunity.
An El Clasico largely played between the two team’s defences was dominated by Real Madrid. As the Galacticos should feel unlucky not to beat the La Liga table leaders.