The biggest soccer game in the world took place tonight at Camp Nou in Barcelona. The 239th El Clasico between two of the most popular teams in the world, ended with a draw, 1-1.
This was only the first leg of Copa Del Rey’s semifinals, and the rematch will be played on Feb 27th in Madrid, at Santiago Bernabeu.
The spectators had a chance to see a very good, open game with tons of opportunities on both sides, but unfortunately only two goals. Even though it should have been at least twice as much.
But the overall impression is that the final outcome was fair. That is what Sergio Busquets also said after the game.
“In general terms, the draw is fair,” Busquets stated. “It was an equal game. Everything will be decided in the second leg.
Opening 45 minutes were ended with Real leading, and playing much better than the hosts. Los Blancos had several good situations, yet they’ve scored only once.
That was already after six minutes when Karim Benzema made a nice assist to Lucas Vasquez who didn’t have any troubles hitting the back of the net from a nearby.
— Alex Pineda (@lexpineda) February 6, 2019
Barca rushed to equalize as soon as possible, but that only exposed its back line, and if visitors had a little bit more composure and concentration, we wouldn’t be speaking about a draw now, that is for sure.
One particular guy was a real menace for the hosts’ defense. It was an 18-year old Vinicius Junior. The young and pacey winger was unstoppable during the whole game, and the only thing which prevented him from scoring was inexperience in these kinds of matches.
While most of the journalists didn’t assume such potential in him, coach Solari was more than happy to show him some trust.
He told the media at the press conference, that he unlike many, isn’t surprised with youngsters’ performances.
“I’m not surprised,” he added, “because I’ve known him since he arrived. He’s an 18-year-old boy playing in this way and it’s surprising because it doesn’t happen very often.”
On the opposite side of the pitch, there was another youngster who ran the show. Also from Brazil. The 21-year old Malcom, was excellent today. He had a golden chance to level the score in the first half, but dropped it, by hitting Keylor Navas in a one-on-one situation.
Nevertheless, he made it up for that mistake, 13 minutes after the start of the second half, when Barca’s goalkeeper Ter Stegen rushed out to pick up one pass from the rival player, but failed to reach the ball before one of the Real’s players.
It quickly came to Malcom, who made a laser-precise kick, sending the ball besides all the obstacles into the net. It was 1-1, with a lot of time for changes.
Malcom 💰 pic.twitter.com/AgxhnI08s9
— Psalmy (@7salmy) February 6, 2019
In those moments, Ernesto Valverde decided to put in Messi who wasn’t in the starting lineup after having some injury issues.
“He had some discomfort and we decided to leave him on the bench, it was for the best.” Ernesto Valverde explained why the Argentinian started the contest on the bench. “Leo is fine, but we prefer not to take risks in this time.”
Real replied with Gareth Bale, who missed a chance of the game. Navas was the one who scrambled in this case, and Bale couldn’t use that position, because he made one extra move, allowing for the perfect moment to get away.
That was the last notable situation of the meeting, and both teams took their foot of the gas, keeping this draw.
Barcelona and Real will have one more El Clasico after the rematch in this competition. It will be played on 3rd of March also at Santiago Bernabeu.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.