Real Madrid 2, Barça 1, aka “Has anyone seen that gift horse?”

This match sucked. I know that neutrals enjoyed it, and it was certainly an enthralling contest at times. But for me, the rage at seeing my team get punked and as usual, show up late (but too late this time) killed any enjoyment for me. The first half was a masterclass by Real Madrid of… Continue reading Real Madrid 2, Barça 1, aka “Has anyone seen that gift horse?”

Barça 1, Real Madrid 3, aka “The problems to be fixed aren’t on the field”

On my Twitter timeline the other day, there was a rousing discussion about Puyol, being a captain vs a leader, and what might or might not have happened had he been present at pivotal Barça moments in recent seasons. Some suggested that Barça has captains, but not leaders. Back and forth it went, with no… Continue reading Barça 1, Real Madrid 3, aka “The problems to be fixed aren’t on the field”

Real Madrid 2, Barça 0, aka “Much as expected”

Life is sometimes better without illusion. Many people said that Zidane would start Vinicius because his strengths match the known Barça weaknesses. That he scored the first goal wasn’t really a surprise, nor was it a surprise that the second goal came from a fast run that found the Barça defense wanting. Again, these are… Continue reading Real Madrid 2, Barça 0, aka “Much as expected”

A broken boat sets sail for Madrid, after a Napoli nodder

There was no purer evidence of how broken Barca is as a team and footballing entity than the Champions League match against Napoli. From a benign XI to a desultory last 20 minutes in which the team seemed happy to settle for the 1-1 away scoreline, everything about this match spoke to a group, from… Continue reading A broken boat sets sail for Madrid, after a Napoli nodder

Barça 5, Real Madrid 1, aka “Big game, big players, big coach”

There was a moment when many believe that the Classic was in the balance. Real Madrid came out of the half like lions, charging back into the match. They scored a goal, then hit the post with what would have been an equalizer. Barça was reeling, culers were freaking out. The calmest man in the… Continue reading Barça 5, Real Madrid 1, aka “Big game, big players, big coach”

Barça 2, Real Madrid 2, aka “A glorious mess”

The 1986 Super Bowl Chicago Bears were going for an undefeated NFL season, a feat that had until that moment, been accomplished only by the Miami Dolphins. On this night, they happened to be playing the Dolphins, and as team legends watched from the stands, the Dolphins beat the Bears, hanging on them the only… Continue reading Barça 2, Real Madrid 2, aka “A glorious mess”

Finale

It’s difficult to remember the last classic that filled me with nervousness and trepidation — probably the eventual 2-6 victory. There was so much riding on that one, and even though Barça was the better team and everyone anticipated a win, the whole dominance thing was still new, that sense of expectation among a fanbase… Continue reading Finale