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Real Madrid vs Barcelona Copa del Rey, the post game analysis

realmadris barcelona 20.04.2011 copa del rey final/nationalturk

Real Madrid vs Barcelona Copa del Rey, the post game analysis and match report/ Real Madrid vs Barcelona Copa del Rey News

Wednesday night at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, 55000 fans and nearly half a million viewer’s across the world witnessed, that Jose Mourinho is one of the most inspired masterminds ever in the game of football. Executing an unexpected, shockingly swift varition in Real Madrid’s style of play into almost perfection, the Portuguese manager led his team to victory over arch-rivals Barcelona and to their 18th Copa del Rey title, a competition the Los Blancos hadn’t won since 1993.

The match was broadcasted for a record 140 countries, while €2,500 was offered for a tribune seat minutes before kick off.

Mourinho used actually a pragmatic Anti-Barcelona approach, made some specific adjustments for the Copa del Rey final, which resulted in a much needed victory and a confidence boost for the Real Madrid squad againt now suddenly not so dangerous Barcelona.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona / The first half Real Madrid dominated

The first half of the game clearly was the best 45 minutes Real Madrid had played against Barcelona since Guardiola began coaching the Catalans.

Real’s tactics rested on physical toughness since the initial whistle, and Real used long balls to take advantage of Barcelona’s aerial weakness and forced Barcelona to build-up his play right from their  own goal. Real suceeded in keeping the ball as far as possible from their own half, which caused the skilled Catalan midfield problems with their high-pace pressure football.

Madrid’s portuguese defender Pepe, who played in the midfield won many battles against the catalan midfield, won many balls and linked up play especially well by german national player Mesut Ozil.

Jose Mourinho’s tactic for this game was slightly different than the previous match on last saturday in Madrid. Mesut Ozil joined the starting line up replacing Benzema and thus Real Madrid had another player to track down Barcelona middlefield. Andrés Iniesta, Dani Alves and Pedro were simply deactivated, since the connection between Barca defence and middlefield was broken.

The cooperation of Pepe and Mesut, the best players for Real Madrid in the first half  helped them to gain the upper hand against Barcelona. The duo could have crowned their good efforts by scoring towards the end of the first half, where Ozil crossed and Pepe! found the post.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona / The second half Barcelona as we know

The second half was an entirely different matter. Barcelona was clearly the better team, way better. Real Madrid’s huge effort in the first half began to take its toll. Pepe got booked early in the first half, Mourinho obviously warned him of a possible sending of, what somehow became a Madrid tradition in the latest ‘el clasico’ clashes. That stripped Pepe of his aggressiveness in the first half. Real sat back in their own half and Barcelona suddenly found room to manoeuvre. Playmaker Iniesta finally orchestrated his team and Guardiola sent Lionel Messi to the right side of the pitch, and Barcelona began to function operating like the well oiled mashine we all know.

Real Madrid with Copa del Rey trophy, after victory against Barcelona

At that point, the main flaws of this new Real Madrid became apparent; their inability to keep possession, together with the endless string of clearances aimed nowhere as Barca rarely left Real Madrid’s own half of the pitch.Once more, Iker Casillas’ three spectacular saves to Pedro, Iniesta and Messi, kept Real Madrid in the match during most of the second half.

Mourinho had a tough dillema in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Although he realized the uneffectiveness of his squad, he couldn’t decide, who he had to replace with. Everything went smoothly and as planned in the first half! He couldn’t pull Di Maria out of the game, then he was a tactical key factor by preventing Alves from attacking fiercely. Ronaldo was the special one and the difference maker! and thus, untouchable. So it came down to Mesut Ozil, he was out but Real continued to suffer, but held on to the draw. Real even managed to get their chance with Di Maria, who raised his game in the final minutes of the match.

Finally, in the regulation time, a one-touch play between Di Maria and Marcelo ended in a sweeping cross from the former, emphatically headed home by Cristiano.

Although Barcelona still had one full extra-time period to draw, not even Pep’s first two substitutions of the match gave his team the spark they so badly needed, and once more a final match ended in an underdog win.

NationalTurk – Sports / John Steel

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