Barcelona Trash Real Madrid 3-0 To Win The Texas El Clásico. {Watch Highlights}

Real Madrid and Barcelona proved there is no such thing as a ‘friendly’ between the bitter rivals when they met in a pre-season El Clasico on Saturday evening.

Barcelona picked up their first win of this preseason thanks to a 3-0 victory over Real Madrid in a wild game, making it the third consecutive Clasico win in U.S soil for the Blaugrana, off 2017 and 2022 victories.

Coming into the encounter at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Coach Carlo Ancelotti's squad has already struggled to beat AC Milan in the pre-season opener but they didn't suffer to beat Manchester United 2-0 during the second game of the season. 

Barcelona on the other hand, comes with a defeat in the first pre-season game they played against Arsenal Wednesday in midweek, losing 5-3 to the North London club. 

A game that never felt like a friendly had plenty of intensity, great chances, three brilliant goals, and a big win for Barça who played very well and found a way to beat their biggest rivals in a truly fantastic preseason match.

Barcelona enjoyed the better of the play early on, and almost grabbed the lead, after new signing Oriol Romeu rattled a volley off the bar. 

The opener came shortly after, with Ousmane Dembele lashing a shot into the bottom corner from a well-worked set piece routine after receiving a pass from Pedri at a tight angle in the 15th minute, putting the La Liga champions ahead.

The Frenchman should have had a second later in the half, but an instinctive stop from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois prevented him from grabbing a second.

It's not clear who Dembele will be playing for by the start of the season following the uncertainty over his future. 

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly set to activate his €50m (£43m/$54m) release clause, hoping that he can be the right-winger they need.

For now, though, he seems to be nearing his best for the Blaugrana, as his performance against Real Madrid showed that he is still immensely important for Barca.

Real Madrid had their opportunities, though, and were awarded a penalty inside 20 minutes thanks to a Ronald Araujo handball. But Vinicius Jr smashed the spot kick off the bar, assuming penalty duties after captain and top scorer Karim Benzema's departure to the Saudi Pro League. 

Los Blancos came even closer just before the break, hitting the woodwork four times, as the poor finishing failed them.

They were more assertive after the break, enjoying long spells of possession and creating several chances, but Barcelona's La Liga-best defence held them off, and goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen was seldom tested.

A wonderful strike from 20-year-old academy product (La Masia graduate) Fermin Lopez sealed the game late on to double his team's lead, and then set up Ferran Torres who capitalised on a loose Madrid backline to grab the third in what was a rapid matchup, one that could have swung either way.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez further spoke on Ousmane Dembele's future, a delightful performance from Fermin Lopez, and how his team performed in an impressive 3-0 win over Real Madrid.

"We do not know what will happen with the [transfer] market. I see him happy at Barca, but in the end the decision is the player's. If there is anything [happening], he will let us know," Xavi stated, amid rumors that the Qatari-backed giants will trigger Dembele's €50 million ($55.2 million) release clause.

"I have always said that the coaching staff do not have complexes with young people when you earn it in training," Xavi said, in a dig at those who have suggested he and his team don't trust youth players.

"We have seen Fermin very easy going in this preseason and we believe he can help us throughout the season," the manager added.

Xavi was also impressed by new recruit Oriol Romeu who started in defensive midfield, and joked that the press covering his side and the fans will be much more pleased with his men after their defeat to the Gunners midweek.

"Now we will be the best and the other day we were a disaster. This is how we are, the cules and the environment [that surrounds the club]," Xavi noted.

"We did many things well, but we also made many mistakes that we have to correct. Obviously the result is spectacular, but at this stage of the season it is secondary.

"The important thing now is to improve," he concluded, with AC Milan now waiting in Las Vegas before Barca head back to Catalonia to play the Joan Gamper Trophy and get their La Liga title defense underway at Getafe on August 13.


No comments

Powered by Blogger.