Monday, May 2, 2011

Barca and Madrid Both Lose

The emotional and physical intensity of three El Clasico matches in barely three weeks, clearly has taken its toll on both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, as both of Spain's finest football teams uncharacteristically lost their league matches this past weekend.  Real Madrid rested Cristiano Ronaldo and subsequently lost 3 - 2 to Zaragoza, while Barca suffered its first league defeat in seven months, losing 2 - 1 to Real Sociedad in San Sebastien.  The lone goal for Barcelona was scored by midfielder Thiago Alcantara in the first half, while the Basque's scored twice in the second half for the win.  With this defeat Barca's unbeated streak ended at 31 matches, only one short of the Spanish League record.

Because both of the league-leading teams lost their respective matches, Barcelona retains an eight point lead over Real Madrid in La Liga standings, which preserves the likelihood that Barcelona will win the Spanish League crown yet again.

After the match, Pep Guardiola admitted that three El Clasico's in 18 days had taken its toll, saying "What happened was a lesson.  Like any team we can win or lose. We were coming off a complicated situation."

Barcelona and Real Madrid lock horns for the final time this season tommorrow afternoon at Camp Nou, for the fourth meeting between these two teams in three weeks.  Barcelona enjoys a two goal lead in Champions League competition going into the match, and a win will secure their passage to the Champions League Final, probably against English side Manchester United.

Visca el Barca!