Real Madrid v Barcelona talking points

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 20, 2017

Victory continues Madrid's run of success under Zinedine Zidane with the European champions now having lifted seven trophies in the 20 months since the Frenchman took charge. At times, they have started better, especially our first-half start and our second have not been very good.

Zidane even had the luxury of leaving first-team regulars Gareth Bale, Isco and Casemiro on the bench as Real's strength in depth was demonstrated in a dominant first 45 minutes.

The available first team players were joined by new FC Barcelona player Paulinho in his first session as a blaugrana.

Ronaldo will miss the match via suspension after the incident involving him shoving referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea during the first leg of the tie just moments after scoring the winning goal of the match.

However, we all know that when it comes to figures, manipulation is the key word.

"I am working to have as many minutes as possible on the field."I am happy on both a collective and individual level". You couldn't notice the changes (to the starting lineup)."Barcelona struggled to score for a second match since the shocking departure of Neymar on a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain".

Guardiola came through Barcelona's youth system to star in Johan Cruyff's feted "Dream Team" before returning as head coach to lead an unprecedented spell of success at home and overseas between 2008 and 2012.

Thomas Vermaelen returned to feature in a Barcelona training session on Friday (18 August) after missing the back-to-back defeats to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup due to a leg injury.

"Things have happened in pre-season that have affected the balance of the team and our job is to refind that balance".

Barca found goal-scoring opportunities hard to come by and Karim Benzema outwitted Samuel Umtiti to double Madrid's lead on the night shortly before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu. Benzema added a second goal in the 39th after Lucas Vazquez had already hit the post for the hosts.

Barcelona, however, failed to provide any update on the situation of two key players in Iniesta and Pique.

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