The task of defeating the defending Champions Real Madrid at their home was always a tough one. However, the task was not an impossible one, especially this season. After starting so well this season, Zinedine Zidane’s side has started showing signs of weakness on all ends of the pitch.
While the strike force has looked a little weak and below par this season, their defence too has taken the leak that they have not seen much in the previous seasons. For Barcelona, the story has been opposite.
While they started the season below-notch, every performance ever since has seen a leap-of-faith. Starting with their goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen, the defence has looked sturdy like never before.
The midfield too has not looked very bright, but the inclusion of Paulinho in the set-up has enabled the likes of Luis Suarez to take much-needed breaks while at attack. First-half belonged to the home side, as they looked to attack every single time they got the ball while Barcelona looked to stay strong on the defensive end.
The inclusion of the Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen in the playing XI certainly raised many an eyebrow. However, the performance of the Belgian was more assuring than what Sergio Ramos gave at the other end. It all started in the second half when a strike from the Uruguayan striker Suarez.
Following this chance, Barcelona were constantly on the attacking fore as they wanted to grab the three points when they left Madrid.
The second goal was coming for Barcelona:
The second goal was a result of Suarez’s missed opportunity followed by a header from the Brazilian midfielder Paulinho. Paulinho found the ball waiting to be attacked and met it perfectly, only to see Madrid full-back, Dani Carvajal tried to catch the ball with his hand.
The valiant attempt was a fail as the ball eventually crossed over the line. However, the referee caught this particular moment and awarded a straight red to the Madrid full-back.
Step in Lionel Messi, and he stepped out scoring a crucial goal for the away side. The celebration was perhaps grander than the goal itself, with Messi celebrating in front of the jubilant away fans.
A final nail in the coffin:
Third and final goal of the game came in the dying minutes of the game when substitute Aleix Vidal found the end of Messi’s comeback to find the back of the net to wrap an amazing result for the Catalans. 3 goals, three points and an amazing result for table-toppers.
Here are the Twitter reactions!
VISCA EL BARÇA ❤️ 💙 pic.twitter.com/ewDtkTfZdV
— Messi World (@MessiWorId) December 23, 2017
— Medo⌁☍ (@YourStarBoyMedo) December 23, 2017
— Nick (@_Nick_Sick_) December 23, 2017
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 23, 2017
— ShotOnGoal (@shotongoal247) December 23, 2017
— KroosT8 (@KroosT8) December 23, 2017
Completed 50/57 passes, 9 chances created, 1 assist
4 shots, 3 on target, 1 goal
Completed 22/27 passes, 1 chance created
5 shots, 1 on target pic.twitter.com/GjJQ8PueKl
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 23, 2017
Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu in #LaLiga since Pep Guardiola's revolution:
— Muhammad Butt (@muhammadbutt) December 23, 2017
— Ahmed Abd Elsalam (@AhmedAb41832991) December 23, 2017
— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) December 23, 2017
Awesome win!!! 👏👏👏
— Gerard Piqué | HQ (@3gerardpiqueHQ) December 23, 2017