Real Madrid – Barcelona: Mentality Monsters Real Madrid Bag Another Big Game Win (3-1)

Real Madrid truly flexed their talent muscles in El Clásico, proving once again that they are the kings of Spain. In what was a twist from their common style of play, Real Madrid played with incredible patience in the buildup phase, trying to draw Barcelona into pressing them before unleashing laser-like passes to easily break down their opponents. Barcelona looked confused for much of the match, and they struggled to create quality chances until it was far too late to make a comeback.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley

It has been an electric start to the season for Real Madrid, as Carlo Ancelotti’s side were still unbeaten in all competitions coming into El Clásico. They did drop points in their midweek Champions League match (a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk), though the point was enough to secure them qualification to the Round of Sixteen of Europe’s most prestigious competition. 

The reigning LaLiga champions once again fielded themselves in the 4-3-3 formation, with the only change to their most common starting eleven being the exclusion of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. With the Belgian injured, Andriy Lunin started in goal for Real Madrid, with Dani Carvajal, Éder Militão, David Alaba, and Ferland Mendy serving as the defensive line. Luka Modrić, Aurélien Tchouaméni, and Toni Kroos were Ancelotti’s midfield trio, with Fede Valverde, Karim Benzema, and Vinícius Júnior as the forwards.

Like Real Madrid, Barcelona were still unbeaten in LaLiga ahead of the match (even topping the table over their rivals based on goal difference), but they have found trouble in a very difficult Champions League group. A late draw with Inter . . .

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Charlie Tuley is a junior studying sport management at the University of Michigan. He currently works as a data analyst for the San Jose Earthquakes, and does freelance football analytics on Twitter under the name @analyticslaliga. [ View all posts ]

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