Decimating Barcelona.

Amidst the crazy week that was, I found time to catch the Copa del Rey semifinal between Barcelona and Real Madrid. The ida of this match up saw both teams draw 1-1 at the Bernabeu, and the vuelta had both teams playing not just for a spot at the final, but for pride and then some.

I suppose waking up at 4 a .m. was well worth it, when the final score at Camp Nou read 1-3, in favor of Madrid. The goals came from a Cristiano Ronaldo brace (one from the penalty spot and one cleanly slotting it in after Pinto blocked Angel DiMaria’s shot, only to bounce straight to our #7) and a powerful header from Raphael Varane—this kid is definitely Madrid’s future: a rock in defense, containing Leo Messi, and powerful in front of the goal. Jordi Alba netted for Barcelona at the 89th minute, which was hardly any consolation.

One other thing to note about this match: Madrid’s defense showed up. If he had played like this all the time, then there should not have been a gaping difference in points between these rivals.

As for Real Madrid, this win should boost the team’s confidence coming into the Liga match with Barcelona tonight at the Bernabeu, and more importantly, to get some much needed goals when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford next week.

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As an added treat, here’s the video on the re-opening of the Adidas store at the Bernabeu. Xabi the Actor. Hehe.

And here’s a Nivea Men ad, starring Sergio Ramos in a leading role, and Marcelo, Gonzalo Higuain, and Alvaro Arbeloa in supporting roles.

 

Por fin! Una victoria contra Barcelona en La Liga!

In the lead up to this installment of El Clasico, both Real Madrid and Barcelona were coming off losses in their Champions League semifinals ties versus Bayern Munich and Chelsea, respectively. Given that said context, this particular Clasico had tempered the morbo that exists between these two clubs—after all, the fixture list was anything but challenging.

I’ll be the first to admit that I was expecting a draw (or at least be thankful if we could manage a draw). After all, a quick look at the head-to-head statistics reveal that in La Liga, the last time that Real Madrid won over Barcelona was back in May 2008. Seven Clasicos in La Liga since then have materialized, with Real Madrid managing to draw only in one and losing the rest (including those terrible 5-0 and 6-2 matches—que horror!).

That said, this was a different Real Madrid team that showed up at Camp Nou—one that spelled of quite confidence and nothing-to-lose attitudes. This was not the team that had to rely on excessive fouling (although the playacting is still there). However, the defense was largely solid (save for the scuffle in front of the goal that led to Alexis’ lone goal for Barcelona—whose shot Iker has earlier saved), and I’m just all too glad that Fabio Coentrao contained Dani Effin’ Alves and my Sergio Ramos did a terrific job of covering Leo Messi.

One could counter that Barcelona had been running ragged, especially when Sami Khedira beat both Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol to score Real Madrid’s first goal.

While Barcelona continued to dominate possession, Real Madrid was more purposeful in the times that it had the ball. Credit should also go to Mesut Özil, who set up Cristiano Ronaldo nicely for Real Madrid’s second goal—which was just a sheer beauty to watch.

More importantly, this gives Real Madrid a seven-point cushion over Barcelona, with still a few matches to play. High time the Catalans got their wings clipped.

And, a treat for the ladies:

Diez!!!

Real Madrid now have a 10-point cushion as La Liga lideres over Barcelona, following a 4-2 win over Levante this morning. Moreover, this win is on the back of a superb performance from Cristiano Ronaldo. Pichichi.

Hasta el final, vamos Real!

Random amusing football things over the weekend.

Real Madrid won over Malaga 4-0, thanks to a goal from Pipita Higuain and a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick. The video above shows Cristiano and Marcelo’s goal celebration after the first of CR7’s goals. For all his swagger, you’d think Cris would have more rhythm in his dance moves. This was just… awkward.

And when God showered football humor, Mario Balotelli must have been on the receiving end of most of it. He’s been forced to evacuate from his house after it caught on fire, thanks to fireworks set from the bathroom (WTF) and now, his “Why Always Me?” shirt after drawing first blood from Manchester United. Manchester City leads 1-0 at the half, and I’d rather it stay that way.

Photo from EPL Talk

ETA: Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1! My sadistic, Scouser self is very happy with the demolition job done!