The game had the intensity and emotion that was expected of the clash but this game is just the start of what promises to be an exhilarating run of games between Spain’s top two.
Next up for the pair is the Copa Del Rey final on Wednesday night at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium. The cup game could be Real’s best chance of winning silverware in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge of Los Blancos.
To have any chance of winning La Liga Real Madrid had to beat Barcelona in last night clash but a 1-1 draw has basically killed off any chance of Mourinho’s side claiming the title. This game was also seen as the least important of the four clashes, because everybody had already assumed that Barca had the league title sewn up.
Barca have looked uncatchable for awhile but Real knew there was an outside chance catching Barca with a victory on home turf, however that chance has now gone and they will see their priority as the cup competitions, especially the Champions League.
Real Madrid have a very special relationship with the Champions League. The club were the first ever winners of the European Cup and have won the trophy nine times in its different guises. It’s a trophy that Los Blancos fans most enjoy winning.
However they have struggled to even get into the last eight of the competition in recent years. This season their run to the trophy could be halted by their arch-rivals Barcelona. A clash against German side Schalke or Manchester United would probably have been preferable for the Real camp.
For the neutral though it was a great draw. They get to see arguably the best two teams in Europe battle out it once again. They also get to see who comes out on top between Barca’s Lionel Messi and Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
There was speculation before the 1-1 draw that both managers could field weakened sides but both decided to field their strongest line-ups. Both bosses though knew that a defeat would have given their opponents the psychological edge.
In these games mind games are crucial, as any advantage you can get is a worthwhile one with both sides so strong. Real boss Mourinho is a king of the mind games but has struggled to get the better of Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
The reason why Mourinho’s mind games haven’t been effective on Guardiola is because Barcelona have such a winning mentality and a clear belief in how they play football. That belief comes from the fact that they have won so many trophies in recent years.
Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho hasn’t quite got the same belief and have a inferiority complex partly thanks to their 5-0 hammering at the Camp Nou earlier this season.
To beat Barcelona in the up-coming games Real Madrid’s big players must be at their very best. Very few teams have it in their locker to go head-to-head with Barca football wise but on their day Real are a team capable of a playing a similar brand of football.
It will be very tough for Real Madrid to get the better of the Spanish champions in any of the next three clashes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Barcelona managed to win all three and go on to win the Champions League.
Last night’s game didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know. I do know though that the next three games between the pair will be a great watch for fans of football.
Can Real Madrid overcome Barcelona in the Spanish cup final?
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