Monday, 23 October 2006

"It's only a game...

Raúl scores the first of Real's two goals... we haven't won the League or the Champions League", said Emerson today, referring to Real Madrid's timely victory over Barcelona on Sunday night. Fabio Capello, in the press conference following the end of the game, attributed to himself a large deal of credit for his side's performance: "we are now a team". When asked why now and not a week earlier, he replied "because of the talk I had with the players after Getafe".

The 'talk', rumoured to have consisted of a full-blown scream-fest and threats of contract terminations and watching out the season from the stands seems to have had the desired effect. It helped that Steaua, Real's next opponents, would probably struggle against most teams in the Spanish Primera División and played with a generosity in defence hard to find in the rest of the Champions League. A great morale booster.

It helped that Barcelona met their toughest rivals so far and had their morale dented by a switched-on Chelsea.

It helped that Barcelona took 15 minutes to warm up at the Bernabéu and by that time Raúl had done his "thing", scored once and hit the woodwork once.

It helped that Cannavaro finally decided to display some of the form and class he showed at the World Cup, and that Helguera seems to have been re-born after his inclusion in the starting line-up, creating a wall in the centre of defence, that soaked up the intense pressure Barcelona poured on them for most of the first half.

It helped that Capello is not a proud man, so that Robinho's brand of flashy step-overs and mazy runs has a place in the squad, especially if it inspires his fellow team-mates and gets results.

It helped that the referee did not see fit to send Emerson off for a second bookable offence, after he brought Messi (Barça's best man by far) down once again towards the end of the first half.

It helped that Victor Valdés decided to go out mushroom picking (or something) when he really should have stopped 'van the Man' from scoring Real's second and effectively putting paid to Barcelona's chances.

All in all, there are plenty of reasons why this was just one game, one win, and why Real fans should not let their despair turn to euphoria, just because the 'auld enemy' has been beaten.

But it's hard not to smile when Real Madrid beats Barcelona ;)
Match report

1 comment:


fantastic win over Barca! I saw the game and you guys were pretty good ;)