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Three talking points from Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Saturday’s El Clasico was a thriller in every sense. The manner in which the momentum shifted between Barcelona and Real Madrid on the afternoon was nothing short of a roller coaster with fans glued to the edge of their seats.

Barcelona took the lead in Montjuic after Ilkay Gundogan capitalised on Real Madrid’s defensive lapse early in the game. 

The equaliser did not come easy for the Merengues. After a long and hard-fought war, they leveled things up after the hour mark with a goal to remember from Jude Bellingham, before the same player scored the winner in the penultimate minute of the game.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points from El Clasico.

Never say never

Truth be told Real Madrid were outlcassed by Barcelona for the better part of yesterday’s Clasico. Carlo Ancelotti’s men appeared to have no plan in place, for it was the Blaugranas who were on the front foot in the opening period.

For the first 45 minutes, Barcelona showed their quality both on and off the ball. They won the half-challenges and created the better chances and could well have been three goals up in the opening half.

Yet, what makes Real Madrid themselves is their never-say-die attitude. Los Blancos have been known to come back from impossible situations over their long and glorious history, and Saturday was no different

Ancelotti’s side walked out of the tunnel after the half-time break with renewed energy, passion, and determination and it showed in their play. All of a sudden, it was Real Madrid who were pushing on the break and winning the midfield battle.

Real Madrid may not deserve the win for their overall performance across the ninety minutes. Yet, football is a game of taking one’s chances, and Los Blancos deserve three points for their sheer tenacity, never-say-die attitude, and confidence in their abilities.

And he does it again

Real Madrid’s hero. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

At this point, words fail to do justice to the impact Jude Bellingham is having at Real Madrid.

It is not easy to come into the Spanish capital and settle into the team, let alone perform at a high level. Not only is Bellingham playing like the best player in the world but is single-handedly running the show for Real Madrid at this point.

The Englishman was silent for the better part of the first period owing to the lack of service from midfield. His runs in between the lines were not being picked out, forcing him to drop deeper and orchestrate the play. That too was difficult, especially with Barcelona’s Gavi delivering a masterclass in midfield.

Real Madrid were improved after the break, but Bellingham’s equaliser changed the script completely. The youngster required no help from his teammates in creating the chance as he took a swift turn outside the box and lashed an unstoppable shot into the back of the net.

Once the scores were levelled, the Azulgranas were once again prompted to return to their usual press. The possession was evenly split between the arch-rivals with both teams having their chances.

Yet, the difference came from Bellingham’s boots once again. The chosen one was at the right place at the right time as he put the ball past a helpless Marc-Andre ter Stegen in stoppage time.

The gap is four

With the Clasico win, Real Madrid move to 28 points from a possible 33 so far in La Liga and they handed Barcelona their first defeat of the season.

The gap between the arch-rivals has now been extended to four points, and Ancelotti’s men will be thrilled to have done so away from home. After all, the next Clasico will be at the Santiago Bernabeu, and the advantage will be with the men in white.

Despite their strong start to the season, Real Madrid are surprisingly not the sole leaders in La Liga. Girona sit on 28 points after 11 games as well, a feat that only goes on to show how competitive the league is this season.

The season is far from its conclusive stage, and there is a marathon yet to run. If Real Madrid can hold onto their lead and maintain the steam, however, the title is theirs to lose.

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Features

Euro 2024: Rating every Real Madrid player’s performance at the tournament

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Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

The UEFA Euro 2024 came to an end last night with Spain being crowned the champions of Europe thanks to a 2-1 victory over England in Berlin.

Considering how well La Roja played throughout the tournament and their performance in the finals on Sunday night, they were the deserved winners of the trophy.

With Spain lifting the trophy, Real Madrid veteran defender Dani Carvajal added another title to his already successful campaign finishing 2023/24 as a La Liga, Champions League, and EURO winner.

Nacho and Joselu, who were still contracted with Real Madrid when the Euro started, joined Carvajal on that list while Jude Bellingham finished on the losing side.

Real Madrid had a total of 13 players representing them at the Euros in Germany and not all managed to make a solid impression. Here are how the Merengues’ stars fared at the European Championships.

Spain

Dani Carvajal: 8/10

The Spanish right-back was one of the stars of the show at the Euros, playing an integral role in La Roja’s success. Carvajal kicked off his first Euro with a goal in the opening game against Croatia and continued to be a reliable player for Spain both in defence and attack.

Carvajal forged a strong partnership with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal on the right flank and even played a key role in the team’s opening goal against England in the final.

Nacho: 6/10

Technically no longer a Real Madrid player, Nacho was still contracted with the club when the Euros kicked off. Starting in the opener against Croatia, he helped Spain to a clean sheet against Croatia.

The veteran defender also put in solid shifts in the quarter-final and semi-final ties against Germany and France, respectively and helped see out the game against England last night.

Joselu: N/A

Behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal in the pecking order, Joselu, who left Real Madrid at the end of June, played just 90 minutes across two games.

England

Jude Bellingham: 6.5/10

Failed to deliver. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Having enjoyed a dream season with Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham was unable to replicate those performances for England.

While he did score two crucial goals, including a stunning bicycle kick to keep his team alive against Slovakia, and assisted Cole Palmer’s strike in the finals, his overall display left a lot to be desired.

France

Kylian Mbappe: 6/10

Real Madrid’s newest acquisition, all eyes were on Mbappe heading into the Euros. And even though France made it as far as the semi-finals, the 25-year-old failed to live up to the expectations with a nose injury impacting his displays.

Mbappe finished the tournament with a solitary goal and two assists, but as he admitted after the defeat to Spain, his Euro will go down as a failure.

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6/10

Making a return from injury during the tournament, the Real Madrid midfielder was a solid presence in the centre of the park for France alongside N’Golo Kante without really standing out a great deal.

The 24-year-old provided strength and stability in midfield for Les Bleus and even tried to get upfield in matches. But his shooting from distance was way off the mark.

Not up to the mark. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Eduardo Camavinga: 5/10

Starting just one of France’s six games and featuring as a substitute in three more, Eduardo Camavinga was not a major presence for Didier Deschamps’ side at the Euros which came as a surprise.

The Real Madrid starlet did show glimpses of quality when he did get a chance but not enough for him to make an impact.

Ferland Mendy: N/A

Having made a return to the France setup for the first time since 2022, Mendy did not play a single minute at the Euros, with former Real Madrid left-back, Theo Hernandez being preferred by the manager.

Germany

Antonio Rudiger: 7/10

Carrying on from where he left off for Real Madrid, Rudiger was a solid presence at the heart of the German defence at the Euros in his homeland.

Came up against some tricky forwards throughout the hosts’ quarterfinal run but did well to hold his own, but was guilty of losing Mikel Merino for Spain’s goal that eliminated Germany.

Toni Kroos: 6.5/10

It was not a fairytale ending for Kroos, who waved goodbye to his international career with a forgettable display against Spain during which he could have been easily sent off for the array of fouls he committed.

Prior to that, however, Kroos was instrumental for Germany in their run until the quarterfinals, stringing play together from the centre of the park.

Turkey

Arda Guler: 7/10

Arda Guler made a good impression at the Euros. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

One of the breakout stars of the Euros, Arda Guler showcased his talent and potential, helping Turkey to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 19-year-old started off with a wonder-goal against Georgia and also added two assists to his tally in his first major tournament, following in the footsteps of greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney. A bright future awaits.

Croatia

Luka Modric: 6/10

Unlike recent years, Luka Modric’s Croatia were unable to get past the group stages, with the veteran midfielder finishing the tournament with a goal from under 240 minutes.

Ukraine

Andriy Lunin: 2/10

Started the tournament as Ukraine’s No. 1 against Romania but made costly errors that saw him lose his place in the starting XI. Did not feature again after the opener as his team crashed out of the group stages.

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