3 Talking Points (Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona): Is This Really Europe’s Best Defence?

Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema were enough for Real Madrid to beat Barcelona 3-1 and move to within a point of the Catalan club at the top of the table. Barcelona dominated the early possession and deservedly took the lead through Neymar, but that was really the only time that the visitors were able to maintain a sustained period of pressure as the home side came from behind to inflict Luis Enrique’s first League defeat as a Barcelona manager.

Here are the major talking points from the game.

1. Luis Enrique gets his tactics all wrong

Luis Enrique - Barcelona
Luis Enrique – Barcelona

After the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, which could have been much worse for the Catalans, Luis Enrique said “We didn’t deserve any more”. One of the main reasons why the League leaders were so comprehensively beaten was because of the manager himself. Right from the start, Enrique got his tactics wrong. Starting Luis Suarez, a player who hasn’t kicked a ball in anger in almost four months in a game of such magnitude was akin to asking a man who had just learnt how to walk to cross the highway. Although the Uruguayan assisted Neymar’s goal, he did precious little for the rest of the game.

If starting Suarez on the right wing was bad, his decision to start Jeremy Mathieu at left back was even worse. The Frenchman gave the ball away far too many times and didn’t have the pace necessary to play the role effectively. While he may have played players out of position, the biggest problem was that the Catalan coach was trying to play a 4-3-3 with three midfielders, none of whom are renowned for their defensive prowess and three strikers who didn’t track back. The personnel at his disposal meant that it was always going to be difficult but the worry for the Catalans is that even when he was given the opportunity to change things, he fluffed his lines.

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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