Real Madrid entered the Camp Nou and did exactly what they sought out to do. With an outstanding 3-1 win against their eternal rivals, power may have finally shifted in Spain.
But whenever these two giants of football meet, all of the focus in on the pair of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Arguably the two greatest players in the world, the world expects the two stars to go at it in every Clasico.
However, on this night all applause will go to Cristiano Ronaldo for his efforts in sealing Real Madrid’s place in the Copa del Rey final.
Lionel Messi began the game very strong. His movement and pressure on the defense made it seem as if it was going to be a very long night for the Real Madrid defense.
But as the game progressed Lionel Messi began to disappear from the action. Raphael Varane played a big part in Messi’s rough night as the French starlet pressured the Argentine for the entire game.
Shockingly enough, Messi had a 73 percent passing percentage against Real Madrid. With Madrid defending in packs, Messi was forced to play passes that just were not there.
The biggest surprise on the night for Messi, however, will be that he only had two total shots on the night.
Not only did Real Madrid make things difficult for the Argentine, they took him out of the game completely.
Lionel Messi did have some bright moments in the game, though. The Barcelona forward was wonderful creating from the midfield, but without another proven scorer his efforts amounted to very little.
But as difficult as things were for Messi, it was a completely different story for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Real Madrid star was not only the better player on the night, but he outperformed every other competitor on the pitch. With a very impressive brace on the night and nine total shots, Ronaldo was the man of the match.
Every time Ronaldo touched the ball it looked as if he was going to score. His sheer force in attack was overwhelming to the Barcelona defense as they had no answers to stopping the Portuguese winger.
Real Madrid executed their game plan perfectly and hit Barcelona on the counter. Cristiano Ronaldo used his overpowering speed and dribbling ability to take advantage of a struggling Barcelona defense and showed why some believe that he is the best in the world.
Whereas Lionel Messi was given a headache from the Real Madrid defense, Cristiano Ronaldo terrorized the entire Barcelona squad.
Normally a battle of the two greatest players in the world, this Clasico was the complete opposite. When trying to score who played better is not even a question.
On this night not only was Real Madrid the much better team, Cristiano Ronaldo completely outshined Lionel Messi. Yet another chapter has been written in El Clasico history, and what a chapter it was.
Note all statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com
What were your takeaways from El Clasico? Did Messi or Ronaldo have the better night? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and questions below.
Tre’ Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Barcelona, Real Madrid and La Liga.