Barcelona crushed Real Madrid 4-0 on Sunday (March 20) in a shocking reversal of fortunes, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netting a brace in an El Clasico destruction at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The game was hailed as a litmus test for Barcelona’s improvement under Xavi Hernandez, and the Catalan club passed with flying colours, humiliating their greatest rivals and indicating that they are ready to fight for La Liga next season.
While the outcome may have little influence on the title race this season, a defeat of this magnitude, especially at home and against Barcelona, will have major ramifications at Real Madrid.
Real Madrid got the game’s first significant chance when Vinicius Junior took on Ronald Araujo and found Fede Valverde on the edge of the box, but Marc-André ter Stegen expertly saved the Uruguayan’s low drive. It was the home team’s first warning, and a foreshadowing of things to come.
It wasn’t, in fact. Thanks to an absolutely amazing performance by an invigorated Barça squad, that was basically the only decent moment Madrid had in the whole first half. The Blaugrana were sensational in the first 45 minutes, completely outplaying Los Blancos in every aspect of the game and tearing the Madrid defence apart with brilliant attacking football.
In the 29th minute, Aubameyang opened the scoring for Barcelona with a wonderful header from a cross by French winger Ousmane Dembele, who also appears to be regaining form for the Spanish giants. The Gabonese striker then completed his brace in the 51st minute, extending Barcelona’s lead to 4-0 and sealing Xavi’s side’s overwhelming victory.
With his brace, Aubameyang has become the first player in the twenty-first century to score five goals in five consecutive games against Real Madrid. He’s also the only player in the twenty-first century to score three goals on his El Clasico debut in any competition. Aubameyang not only scored twice, but he also assisted Ferran.
Madrid and the Bernabéu were utterly suffocated by the two early goals, although Barça seemed a touch flat for a spell, allowing the home club to enjoy some possession and attempt a few efforts on goal. However, it didn’t take long for Barça to reclaim their supremacy, as they continued to attack and try to score more goals in the closing minutes.
Madrid’s agony came to an end with the final whistle, giving Barça their most emphatic three points of the season. Even the most optimistic Barça supporter could not have imagined such a strong performance, and as we head into the international break, there is no denying the impact Xavi Hernández has had.
According to a report published on MARCA, Real Madrid and Barcelona are planning a pre-season El Clasico to be held in Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium. The two teams were supposed to compete there in the summer of 2020, but the Coronavirus epidemic forced the tournament to be cancelled.
According to the same MARCA story, the initial plan was to hold a tournament with Juventus and Milan. If the report is correct, all four teams will leave their home nations for the first time since the pandemic began in early 2020.
Madrid would also play two games in Los Angeles and San Diego, however the details of these three games are still being worked out and nothing has been confirmed.