Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday effectively ending Real’s hopes of retaining the league title. The first half was a more of a balanced affair with both sides creating chances but both failing to beat the opposition goalkeeper. Real Madrid ended the first half with more possession than Barcelona which shows that Zidane was able to stop Barca from playing their natural game. But under Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona are comfortable sitting deep and playing without the ball, a major change from the days of Pep Guardiola.
As the second half started off, it was pretty clear that the balance of the game was shifting. Barcelona were starting to dominate possession as Real Madrid stopped pressing and sat deeper. Both the teams started off with a 4-4-2 formation with Madrid playing with a midfield diamond. The first goal arrived when Rakitic stormed through the Madrid midfield with nobody stopping him. Kovacic who was the closest to Rakitic chose instead to follow Lionel Messi as his instructions were to man-mark the Argentine. After the first goal, Barcelona were impressive on the counter as they finished off the game with two more goals.