After Barcelona’s 4-2 Clasico defeat by Real Madrid, the Catalans have been criticized for being “inferior” to their rivals. But despite losing 1 of each team in recent months, both clubs are still a force to be reckoned with and should not be dismissed as a whole
Despite the “Camp Nou” being a stronghold for Barcelona, Real Madrid has been able to defeat them on numerous occasions. The latest of which was in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Despite losing a fourth consecutive Clasico at Camp Nou on Sunday, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman said his team is not inferior to Real Madrid.
Madrid won 2-1 thanks to goals from David Alaba and Lucas Vazquez, with Sergio Aguero’s first goal for Barcelona serving as little more than a consolation.
Since taking over as Barcelona coach last year, Koeman has failed to defeat Madrid in three encounters. After previous Champions League group stage losses to Bayern Munich and Benfica, as well as a league loss to Atletico Madrid, this latest result comes as a shock.
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However, the Dutch coach, who received a stay of execution from president Joan Laporta before the international break, maintains that his squad is getting closer to the elite teams.
“Of course, we have to demand that we win these games,” Koeman stated after claiming earlier this season that Barca could not be expected to compete at the highest level.
“We demonstrated that we are not inferior to Madrid in today’s game. However, instead of going 1-0 ahead, we fall 1-0 down, which has a significant impact on the contest. But we’ve proved that we’re gradually improving and getting closer to winning important games.”
Barcelona was defeated by Real Madrid one again at home. Getty
Barca began brilliantly, according to Koeman, but the game turned when Sergino Dest wasted a golden opportunity in the 25th minute, and Alaba scored at the opposite end a few minutes later.
“We played well in the first half,” Koeman said. “We had good control of the game and had a good opportunity to take the lead, but they can play their game in the second half after they score the first.”
“They used their strengths to their advantage, waiting and protecting. And we didn’t have a good prospect of catching up. You must attack and take chances, but you are aware of Madrid’s counterattacking capabilities.”
Madrid now leads the standings with 20 points, five more than Barca in ninth place. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti stated his team was disciplined in their play.
“A game that is both useful and intellectual. We should have played out better with the ball in the first half, but we were quite effective on the counterattack “Ancelotti went on to say. “Of sure, this squad has talent, and we must appreciate it. I’m pleased; it’s three points, and it was a tough game. Barca made the game difficult for us; it was not straightforward.”
Ancelotti, who is in his second spell as Madrid manager, described the victory as “extraordinary” in light of the rivalry, but restrained expectations.
“El Clasico is the most important game of the season, and we won it. We’re thrilled, but it’s just three points. I’m not a fan of joining other teams. Barca put in a solid performance and can’t be faulted “Added the Italian manager.
But losing a Clasico, according to Koeman, is about more than three points.
“I realize that a Clasico is more than three points,” Koeman stated. “But we don’t have time to be depressed; we have a game against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday in LaLiga.”
“The season is lengthy, and a lot may happen within that time. To close the deficit, we must keep going and winning games. We’re disappointed now, but we’ll start preparing for the next match the following day.”
With around 90,000 people filling Camp Nou, it was the first Clasico played with crowds since the outbreak. They were acknowledged for their support, although Koeman chastised them for whistling forward Luuk de Jong when he was introduced late in the game.
“It irritates me when people boo our own player,” he remarked. “It’s not good, and it’s not good for the team.” Luuk is a gamer who provides us with a variety of services.
“When you’re down 10 or 15 minutes to go in a game, it’s natural to look for someone who can help you in the air. Because he is a team player, we must assist and support him.”
Alex Kirkland, an ESPN Madrid journalist, contributed to this article.
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