Real Madrid steamroll Barca in an instant classic
Real Madrid beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou by a score of 3-1 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. After a close first half, the European champion took control finding the lead when Marcelo’s cross was deflected in by Pique for an own goal in the 50th minute. Barcelona did find a way back, they dominated the possession in big spells but when it came to the final third Barcelona couldn’t find the back of the net. Many chances were missed and they struggled in numerous attempts to link up in front of goal, something they are known for. This Highlighted throughout the game what the squad is missing from the departure of Neymar.
Barcelona found a way back in very lucky fashion when the team was awarded a penalty that wasn’t there. While Suarez does in a sense move out-of-the-way of what would have been a foul by Keylor Navas, the striker rolled on the ground like he had been hit with a lead pipe. The theatrics came with great success as Messi buried the penalty the penalty and it was game on.
The draw didn’t last long. Minutes later Madrid’s speed and organization took control. Madrid look deadly in every counter they had in the game and Barca seemed to struggle in covering back their tracks constantly getting caught out of position. This became more evident with the subs brought in. Ronaldo coming in fresh was hard to handle by a tired defence in Barca. It’s rarely the case one of the best players in the world is an option coming off the bench.
Ronaldo takes Center Stage
Then the game became perfect for Ronaldo scoring a true Golazo on the counter where the keeper could do nothing. Taking his shirt off and having a revenge celebration to respond to what Messi did in the last Classico played in the Bernabeu. Then a couple of minutes later the Portuguese superstar was thrown out the game for falling in the box. The referee saw the action as a simulation trying to deceive him into giving a penalty, Ronaldo was baffled with the decision ending it with a push of the referee. Ronaldo got a five match suspension for the action yesterday and faces a month without playing.
Yet, even after Ronaldo was sent off and playing with 10 men, Madrid was still able to control the game. Madrid never really felt the pressure by Barcelona and continued creating on the counter. Culminating with another Golazo from the left-hand side this time by Asensio.
What was learned from this first leg is Real Madrid might be even better than last year. In the match, they didn’t have two of their most important players to start with Ronaldo and Modric. It made no difference. Madrid played what they wanted and created at will showing how deep the squad really is. Barca, on the other hand, looks in crisis, the Neymar hole is there and no solution seems to be on the roster right now. The midfield looks weak and struggles to be present in almost all of Madrid’s counter attacks and a defence that in recent big games haven’t really shown up. With only a couple of weeks left in the transfer market, Barca looks in real need of reinforcements more than just their recent signing of Paulinho. Creating real depth to the squad has to be the goal for Barcelona in the coming days.
Here are other things that happened in the world of soccer
Juventus lost the Super Cup.
Juventus lost the Super Cup in dramatic fashion when they conceded a goal in the dying minutes of the game. Juventus known for one of the best defences conceded three to Lazio, two coming from Ciro Immobile. The Lazio striker made problems of the Juventus’ back line highlighting the departure of Leonardo Bonnuci to Milan. Losing aerial battles and scrambling to clean things up is something you would have never seen last year. Juventus did well to get back in the match coming back from two goals down but fail to secure the game. The defence let Lazio right back into the lead only minutes from the end, something you would have bet before hand would never happen. Juventus must look elsewhere for another centre back if they want to have the same elite defence they have had the last couple seasons, especially with other teams in Italy spending big to catch them this year and end the streak of Serie A titles.
EPL is back and better than ever.
The EPL is finally back and it started with a thriller at the Emirates where Arsenal survived a 4-3 game versus Leicester city. Yet this turned out to be just the curtain raiser. The defending champions Chelsea lost 2-3 at home against Burnley, who won only one game last year away from home, as Chelsea finished the game with nine men. Liverpool also started with a thriller drawing with Watford 3-3 in a game that was back and forth for the whole 90 minutes, showcasing why the EPL is the most entertaining league in the world.
In the other results, the two main title contenders both won by a score of 2-0 on the road. Tottenham took care of Newcastle dominating the possession and the pace for almost all the 90 minutes. Manchester city played well as well, displaying patience with their system as they faced a very organized and compact team in Brighton slowly becoming more of a team that we are accustomed to seeing with Pep Guardiola.
Manchester had the best opening weekend in England finishing the match day at the top of the table beating West Ham by a huge score of 4-0. Lukaku scored twice and the team played well around him, creating chances after chances and not letting the hammers create much. After week one Mourinho is on top but if the season is like the first week we are all set up for one of the best English premier league seasons and one full of surprises.
Here are all the goals from the weekend.
Neymar made his debut
Neymar finally made his debut for PSG scoring and assisting, which was his first debut in his career he was able to score. The team looks pretty cohesive in the rout win over Guingamp. Neymar looks comfortable with the squad and fitting right in with the type of play of the league. It will be interesting to see the moves PSG ends up to clear their books for Financial Fairplay and if the squad can stay playing at this level. One thing is for sure, Neymar will have no problem scoring in this league.
Transfer window is still open and a lot of teams need help
These coming weeks expect a lot of action in the transfer market as teams will be desperate to get deals done to improve the squad. Too many teams the next two weeks are the most important and shape up their seasons. Getting in and keeping talent can be as important as anything a team did on the field. So expect big names to move that you wouldn’t have expected and teams signing players you have never heard of ridiculous amounts. The next two weeks will probably be filled with huge flops and big steals and will be very interesting to follow.
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