Real Madrid 1-3 Barcelona: 5 Things We Learned from El Clasico
Lionel Messi > Cristiano Ronaldo
In basketball, you have LeBron James choking when it matters most; he becomes LeBrick as he misses all his fourth-quarter shots.
In football, you have Cristiano Ronaldo, who, time after time, chokes—especially in El Clásico.
In the 24th minute, he is played through on goal, he should square it to Ángel di María, but Ronaldo would generally score anyway.
But he doesn't.
He shanks it.
In addition to the free header, the fact that three Real Madrid players weren't marked is insult to injury, and Ronaldo doesn't even head the ball on target.
Lionel Messi meanwhile is fouled all over the place and even when hacked down by Lassana Diarra, still makes the through ball, which swings the game towards Barcelona.
Víctor Valdés Still Not Dependable
Everytime Víctor Valdés makes a mistake, the same old argument is used to defend him—all goalkeepers make mistakes.
Well how many mistakes does he want to make?
This is El Clásico and he slips and gives the ball away.
You can blame the pitch but you have to take a long hard look at Valdés and ask yourself why on earth was this guy picked over Pepe Reina.
He gave the ball away at will, and if not for Dani Alves putting in a last ditched tackle on Karim Benzema, Valdés would have given away another goal.
Iker Casillas is unquestionably the better goalkeeper.
The Need for Pepe To Play in Midfield
The only time I've seen Lionel Messi shackled down was when Pepe harassed him in midfield, didn't let him breathe and didn't let him receive the ball and go on his trademark runs.
Lassana Diarra played well but he is no Pepe.
Messi can go toe-to-toe with the Frenchman but he can't with Pepe.
Pepe played his best games for Real Madrid and looked like a €30 million player yet doesn't play there.
Who is Real Madrid's kryptonite?
Who is Messi's kryptonite?
José Mourinho's Tactical Quandary
When José Mourinho managed Chelsea, he imprinted defensive and rugged principles. Why do you think someone like Khalid Boulahrouz played for the club?
Real Madrid has an imprint of winning beautifully.
Alfredo Di Stéfano can attest to this.
This team plays such attacking football (sometimes so beautiful that if not for Barcelona, we'd be mentioning this team as an all-time great) yet they can't cut it against Barcelona.
Barcleona's tiki-taka football continues to haunt Mourinho.
Eight losses and counting against Barcelona.
My solution is to park the plane in front of goals. Flood the midfield with defensive players. Play Cristiano Ronaldo as the lone forward (since he's anonymous anyways) and hope for a deflected goal or a Víctor Valdés mistake.
Either that or start practicing voodoo.
Cesc Fàbregas may have the goals but it was Andrés Iniesta who again cements his position as one of the best midfielders in the world.
He waltzed past Fábio Coentrão time after time.
Iniesta weaved magic and his relationship with Xavi and Lionel Messi is on another level.
They don't even need to speak, they just look at each other, pass, move, pass, move and next thing you know Real Madrid concedes a goal.
Can anyone give me a reasonable argument as to why Cristiano Ronaldo is a better player than Lionel Messi?
What did you think of the game?
Please read 25 Must-Read Real Madrid vs. Barcelona Anecdotes.