On a night full of expectations, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 2-0 at home, ending Real Madrid’s perfect home record of no defeats. This destroys Madrid’s hopes for the La Liga title.
With goals from Lionel Messi and Pedro, Barcelona increased their lead to claim the La Liga title. This loss ends a winning streak of 12 matches for Real Madrid and their record at the Bernabeu Stadium of 15 victories. Barcelona is now three points ahead from Real Madrid with seven games to go still.
Barcelona and Coach Pep Guardiola surprised everybody at the Bernabeu Stadium as the lineup of Barcelona was different from previous matches. He just started with Messi and Pedro as the known star players and left Thierry Henry, Andres Iniesta and Bojan Krkic on the bench.
Maybe that was the reason why the first half of the game went nowhere. The only real attempt was when Messi took a return pass from Xavi and Albiol was not able to block him and Messi continued and passed the Madrid’s center back to then send a right foot shot that passed Madrid’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas to set the first goal of the game at minute 33.
Madrid’s first opportunity came at minute 40, although Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain sent an opening pass over after getting in behind Gerard Pique, but the play was not complete and Barcelona took control of the ball again.
After the halftime break, the fans at the Bernabeu stadium looked concerned. They wanted a win and it was clear the team’s strategy and focus was lacking. They could not seem to concentrate on what they had to do to score.
The second half started with a little more power from Madrid, who finally gave some work to Barcelona’s goalkeeper Dani Alves at minute 51 when Marcelo tried to move the ball in, but failed.
Five minutes later, at minute 56, Barcelona was able to score again with a play created by Xavi again. However, this time the pass went to Pedro who didn’t waste the opportunity to cleverly pass to Alvaro Arbeola who went into the edge of the box to fire a shot that was impossible for Iker Casillas to stop. This marked second goal for Barca.
The second goal put the writing on the wall for Madrid, who made a valiant attempt, but it was too little too late. Pellegrini tried a change and sent Guti in instead of Marcelo. The seemed to work as Madrid created another opportunity, but that was wasted as Valdes stopped the shot from Rafael Van der Vaart.
Madrid kept Valdes busy for the next 15 minutes as they desperately attempted to score. Cristiano Ronaldo tried twice but was denied by hard working Valdes. The Barcelona defense was solid and put a good performance for the team.
Barca didn’t stop trying and they almost set their third goal at minute 71′ when Messi was left alone with only Casillas to beat, but the shot was denied by the goalkeeper. It was the same story at minute 77′ when Xavi sent a pass to Messi again with Casillas denying the final shot.
Barcelona’s hope to return to the Bernabeu stadium would be for next month in the Champions League finals. Their only hope is to defeat Inter Milan in the semifinals.