After watching last night's not-so-friendly FC Barcelona 1-4 loss against Club Deportivo Guadalajara (a.k.a Chivas) at the World Football Challenge, two questions immediately came to mind: Is this the worst defeat ever for Pep Guardiola? And more importantly, is the Catalan club ready to face Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercup next week?
The first question is answered easily: This was the first time Pep's Barça conceded four unanswered goals in any match. This had never happened before. Not even in a friendly match.
The second one is a bit harder. But the Blaugrana do seem weaker than their lifelong rivals, don't they?
But therein lies my point: Barça get better results when they're not absolute favorites. Especially against their bitter rivals, Real Madrid.
To prove this, I'll take you back to November 2010.
José Mourinho's first derbi was widely expected to bring down the Blaugrana in the same way he did it with Inter a few months before in the Champions League semifinals. Messi and company were clear underdogs against the "Anti-Barça" entity The Special One represented.
Who's more prepared for the Spanish Supercup next week?
You all know this rather well: Real Madrid was pummelled 5-nil at the Camp Nou and Barcelona was praised as the world's best.
Yet, not all was won, as they would meet again in April. And this time, Barcelona was expected not only to win the match, but to easily overpower their eternal rivals.
That didn't happen, of course, and as underdogs, Madrid tied 1-1 at home and managed to win the Copa del Rey in extra-time, 1-0.
Following the Merengue victory, the momentum shifted yet again, and now Jose Mourinho's team were heavily praised. The "Anti-Barça" Mourinho preached had finally arrived. They went from underdogs to clear-cut favourites in under a week.
Then the Champions League semifinal came in and Barcelona pulled out an impressive and commanding 0-2 win at the Bernabeu; virtually sealing what would be a berth in the Final and their fourth win in the tournament.
In short, every time Madrid was the perceived underdog, they came out on top. And when Barcelona were expected to lose, they out-performed the Merengues.
As a result to this, I think the perception that Barça is weak and unprepared this preseason and that Mourinho's men seem fully fit for the Supercup clash will be beneficial for the Culés come August 14.
Real Madrid are clear-cut favorites right now and they're the team to beat.
Given, how things worked out last season, that's just the way I want it, so I'm glad Chivas destroyed Barcelona.
And I'm sure that's the way Pep wants it too.
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