Barcelona – Real Madrid: Barcelona’s Late Winner (Just About) Secures LaLiga (2-1)
For the third time in 2023, Barcelona have beaten Real Madrid. It was a late goal from Franck Kessie that gave Barcelona the three points, coming off of a counterattack whilst Real Madrid were throwing numbers forward in search of a winner. The home side were marginally better than their rivals, though Real Madrid could have easily won the match as well had they finished their chances.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley
Xavi’s Barcelona have been in brilliant form of late, having won their last ten matches in LaLiga. The only blemish on their 2023 record was their Europa League round of sixteen loss to Manchester United, though an early exit from the European competition will allow them to put all of their efforts towards securing Xavi’s first LaLiga title (and potentially a Copa del Rey as well). Recently, Barcelona have been lacking a bit in front of goal, having won their last four matches (in all competitions) all by a score of 1-0. Their defense and goalkeeper have been carrying the team all season, whilst the attackers’ performances have dipped a bit as the season has worn on.
Xavi was forced to deal with two major omissions from his squad due to injuries, with Pedri and Ousmane Dembélé forced to miss El Clásio. A high-flying Marc-André ter Stegen started the match in goal, with Ronald Araújo, Jules Koundé, Andreas Christensen, and Alejandro Balde making up his back four ahead of him. Frenkie De Jong, Sergio Busquets, and Sergi Roberto made up the midfield trio, whilst Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, and Gavi acted as Xavi’s front . . .