Clinical In the 250th El Clasico, Real Madrid defeated Barcelona to take the lead in La Liga and hand their rivals their first league loss of the season.
After Marc-Andre ter Stegen deflected Vinicius Jr.’s shot into his path, Karim Benzema scored Real’s first goal.
Before the break, Federico Valverde’s beautiful 20-yard drive increased the champs’ advantage.
Ferran Torres answered Robert Lewandowski’s flick-on, but Rodrygo’s penalty ended the game.
Barcelona had seven victories and a draw in their first eight games of the day, but Real now leads by three points and is still unblemished.
For Xavi, it was his first La Liga away loss in nearly a year as Barcelona’s manager.
REAL MADRID ARE CLÁSICO KINGS ? pic.twitter.com/HhubLyT90z
— 433 (@433) October 16, 2022
Big loss for Xavi
When Barcelona defeated Real 4-0 at the Bernabeu during the close of the previous campaign, it appeared as though they were on their way back to the top of Spanish football.
They took a risk in the summer by using a large portion of their potential earnings to make signings. The club anticipated it would result in immediate success, yielding more profits.
However, they will be eliminated early from the Champions League, demonstrating how far behind their former opponents they still are.
Even though this is their first season loss, they are still only three points behind the league’s top spot. However, this El Clasico contest is one that managers dare not lose.
They appeared better after adding youngsters Ferran Torres, Gavi, and Ansu Fati, something Xavi should consider.
Before those introductions, Barca appeared to be in trouble at 2-0. Torres scored his second Clasico goal at the Bernabeu this year by flicking Fati’s cross into his path.
After that, Fati had a fleeting chance to score a point, but their acrobatic volley just missed, and Rodrygo went on to win the match.
Ancelotti: The First half was the key
Following Real Madrid’s victory over Barcelona in the press room at the Bernabéu, Carlo Ancelotti said the following: “The crucial part was the first half. We had a stronger team and were more decisive.”
“Because they were pressing hard up the field, we could effectively play out from the back. We were strong up front and played with confidence out of the back. Everyone was involved, which was essential for winning the game.”
“We defeated a capable squad in this competition that is having a successful season by taking all three points. Barcelona is a strong team with several advantages. There are still many games to be played in this long season. We’re pleased with how we performed.”
?| Ancelotti: "I want to highlight Luka Modrić's game. He has been spectacular against Barcelona's midfield." @DAZN_ES pic.twitter.com/GP4Q8drfWy
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) October 16, 2022
“We wanted to win the game, so we stayed aggressive to the end. You cannot continue to play with the same enthusiasm as in the first half. The game was under control, and we didn’t want to disrupt the dynamic by rotating players earlier.”
“In the second half, Barcelona made a little more of a push. Although we didn’t play as well as in the first half, we didn’t need to worry too much about anything at the back.”
Xavi complains about the gap in maturity following el Classico’s defeat
After the game, Xavi Hernandez supported his team in remarks. “We didn’t deserve to lose,” Xavi said.
“We weren’t terrible in the first half, but they completely outplayed us in the second half. As a team we need to be more aggressive after the adjustments. Because you need to be more aggressive to compete in these matches, we must alter the dynamic and mentality.”
“We must compete more effectively. As a team we were up against a more experienced squad that knew how to seize the initiative. We must alter the negative dynamic we are in.”