This has been a season loaded with El Claisco’s that has seen both teams emerge victorious. After five meetings in a single season, where are we now?
Usually Real Madrid and Barcelona meet twice a year in the league, and more often than not have a supercup run in as well. On occasion however like this year, they are drawn against each other in the cup adding another two El Clasicos to the schedule.
Real Madrid were comfortably victorious in the first league meeting of the season. ‘Los Blancos’ walked out 3-1 victors as they took top spot in La Liga just weeks before the World Cup began.
They would meet again in January, this time for the Supercup in Saudi Arabia. Barcelona had taken a narrow lead in the league and were looking to continue their momentum. Xavi’s men prevailed as this time it was 3-1 in Catalonian favor.
This saw Barcelona lift the first silverware of the year in Spain and hit Madrid with some revenge before their cup meeting just over a month later.
By the time the two sides met in the cup Barcelona had extended their lead in the league and were looking for another result in a new competition against their rivals. Once again Barcelona emerged victorious thanks to an Eder Militao own goal.
Two weeks after the first leg of the Copa Del Rey they would meet again in the league, only this time the pressure was building for Madrid. Sitting eight points behind the opposition, Real Madrid couldn’t afford to lose this game.
A disallowed Marco Asensio goal almost saw the game go in Madrid’s favor but minutes later Frank Kessie would settle the game, and potentially the league title for Barcelona.
Riding high off their league win and position, Xavi’s men were comfortable heading into the second leg of the cup at home. Real Madrid looked hungry and devoted as they turned the tie around through a Karim Benzema hattrick, and won 4-1 on aggregate.
What do these games show us
At this late stage in the season it is fairly straightforward to say that Barcelona will win La Liga, and Real Madrid will take home the Copa Del Rey. This means both teams will have a trophy, but Barcelona lead this year’s series 3-2.
This season’s El Clasico meetings have followed the trend of these two teams over the last decade or so. Barcelona have won five of the last 10 championships compared to Madrid’s three. History has shown that Barcelona are the more reliable and consistent team throughout an extended 32 game season, and this year is no different. Not only were Barcelona able to capitalize on the pressure heavy second league game to ensure the title, but they also kept their momentum and form from those games to keep winning.
On the other side of the field however, you have Real Madrid, European royalty. Despite only taking home three of the last 10 league titles, ‘Los Blancos’ have won five of the last 10 Champions League titles. Outside of El Clasico this year, Real Madrid remain one of this year’s favorites for the Champions League while Barcelona were knocked out of the group stage and then exited the Europa League in the first round.
Even though Barcelona lifted the Supercup in January, Real Madrid are now massive favorites for the Copa Del Rey, once again showing their superiority in a knockout stage format.
What does this mean
Both teams will end the season well with at least a trophy each. What separates them this season is Madrid’s continued European success and Barcelona’s Spanish dominance.
Even though both teams have exhibited their own advantages over the other this year they remain almost equals at neck and neck. There are a host of other issues and scandals currently revolving around Barcelona, but when they step out on the field they’ve proven they still have what it takes.
Barcelona face a number of scandals and challenges to overcome off the field at the moment, which will eventually be the deciding factor between the two teams. Barcelona have coped with the loss of Lionel Messi to an extent domestically, and are on track to win another league title.
If the Catalonian club cannot overcome their obstacles, then despite the score in their head-to-head games, Real Madrid will take over as Kings of Spain.
For the time being, however, there is still very little to separate two of the greatest clubs of all time, and El Clasico will remain one of sport’s biggest spectacles.
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