Barcelona managed to gain upper hand over archrivals Real Madrid after the first El Clasico of the season. Barcelona came into the match on the back of two consecutive draws against Osasuna and AC Milan. Hence, there was a danger of the Catalan club surrendering the lead in the table to their archrivals Real Madrid. This was the first El Clasico for a number of parties on both sides. In terms of the players, Gareth Bale and Neymar were making their debuts in this match. Opposition managers Gerardo Martino and Carlo Ancelotti were also getting their first taste of this historical encounter.
Barcelona managed to come out on top after securing a 2-1 win over their rivals. Summer signing Neymar opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a deflected shot before Alexis Sanchez doubled Barcelona’s advantage a few minutes before the 90th minute. Jese Rodriguez scored the final minute of the match to set up a few tense moments for Barcelona in injury time. This victory means that Barcelona have now won nine out of the 10 matches, while Madrid have suffered their second defeat in just 10 matches already.
After the match, Martino said that he is happy with the performance of his players. If they can maintain this level of performance, then he is confident of having a good season.
“We played well at first but tailed off, and the same is true of Messi. But he worked hard and I rate his performance. If he, and the other players, can continue playing this well, we’re going to have a good season. The victory is good for our spirits, and is more important in that sense than mathematically. There is still 60 per cent of the league season left, and Madrid and Atletico are close to us, they can still make up the difference,” said Martino.