5 Barcelona players who came out of El Clasico with credit and 3 who did not

Barcelona are licking their wounds after defeat to arch rivals Real Madrid in El Clasico on Saturday, but the narrative in Catalonia has not been exclusively negative. The majority of the Catalan press have acknowledged that while there are problems for the Blaugrana, there are reasons for optimism too.

In fact, MD highlighted five players that stood out in a positive sense for the Blaugrana, while just three were classified as disappointments.

Top of the latter list was Oriol Romeu. The veteran pivot came on and did not look sharp during his 20-minute cameo, nearly causing a chance for Real Madrid, and struggling to track runners. Meanwhile Ferran Torres has not quite found the form he was in earlier in the season. He was on hand to net against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, but struggled to cause much danger for Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba.

Alejandro Balde is another who failed to hit his usual standards, adding to a somewhat bland start to the season for the young left-back. It is worth noting that Torres is playing out of position as a nine, and that early season form came while playing off Robert Lewandowski, who while not fit, did not aid their cause much.

On the other hand, Barcelona’s defensive trio of Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Inigo Martinez all came out of the match with positive grades. The former once again shut down Vinicius Junior, with the Brazilian failing to get a shot off, failing to complete a single dribble.

Christensen and Martinez were both solid in their own right too, and both made crucial interventions in the closing stages to prevent Real Madrid having clear chances.

Meanwhile Barcelona’s midfield also looked good for the first hour of the match, with Gavi appearing everywhere, pressing, hassling and setting the foundation for Barcelona with the ball. That was aided by Fermin Lopez, who was starting just his fourth game of professional football, and came close to scoring with a shot off the post in the first half. He was a constant problem for Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni, who struggled to get a hold of him in the first half.

Tags Andreas Christensen Barcelona El Clasico Fermin Lopez Ferran Torres Gavi Inigo Martinez Oriol Romeu Real Madrid Ronald Araujo

1 Comment

  1. Barca played well for about two-thirds of the game, but that tired. I think the number of injured players affected their ability to keep the pressure on Real Madrid in the second half hurt them. The substitutes didn’t help much, partly because several of them (Lewandowski, Raphinha) had not played for a well. The younger players are just not strong enough yet.

    Still, Barca looked good, a lot better than in last year’s first El Classico. I think by the end of the season, they will be excellent (assuming no more major injuries).

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