Real Madrid averted a crisis in the best possible way on Saturday by beating Barcelona 3-1 in the first empty El Clasico and landing an early blow in La Liga’s title race.
Barca had the chance to inflict a third consecutive defeat on their rivals and increase the pressure on Zinedine Zidane. Instead, Madrid’s win earns them a six-point lead over the Catalans in the table, albeit having played one game more.
However, Saturday’s win brought Madrid a bit more than three-points and a cushion over their chief rivals Barcelona in the table.
The victory meant Real Madrid took the lead in the all-time El Clasico head-to-head posting their 97th win in all competitions against Barcelona.
El Clasico all-time head-to-head record
|Real Madrid wins||97|
|Real Madrid goals||411|
El Clasico head-to-head competition wise
|Competition||Matches||Real Madrid Wins||Barcelona Wins||Draws|
|Copa del Rey||35||12||15||8|
|Copa de la Liga||6||0||2||4|
|Supercopa de España||14||8||4||2|
|Copa de la Coronación[a]||1||0||1||0|
|UEFA Champions League||8||3||2||3|
Real Madrid recorded back-to-back La Liga victories over Barcelona for the first time since the 2007-’08 campaign and are currently unbeaten in three El Clasico games for the the first time in seven years.
The Catalans have especially struggled at home against their arch-rivals winning just one El Clasico home game in six previous meetings at the Camp Nou.
Messi’s fading influence
A part of Barcelona’s weakening hold over the fixture in recent times has been the fading influence of Lionel Messi. The Argentine, who is the all-time leading goalscorer in El Clasico, last found the net in this match-up back in 2018.
Messi has now failed to score in seven straight El Clasico matches.
Messi was Barcelona’s talisman in this fixture as has scored eight goals more than any other player in El Clasico. With him failing to make an impact, Barcelona have struggled to dominate Real Madrid who now hold the head-to-head lead.
All-time El Clasico top goalscorers
|Player||Club||La Liga||Copa||Super Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Alfredo Di Stéfano||Real Madrid||14||2||0||0||2||18|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||9||5||4||0||0||18|
|Francisco Gento||Real Madrid||10||2||0||0||2||14|
|Ferenc Puskás||Real Madrid||9||2||0||0||3||14|
|Hugo Sánchez||Real Madrid||8||0||2||0||0||10|
A new hero?
The only bright spot for Barcelona on an otherwise disappointing day was youngster Ansu Fati, who continued to impress for the Catalans. Already a holder of several records, Fati became the youngest scorer in El Clasico history when he scored Barcelona’s only goal on Saturday.
Fati’s goal was a milestone moment for Barcelona as it was the 400th goal in El Clasico for the club. Real Madrid have 411 goals in comparison and interestingly, their 400th goal was scored by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fati is being tipped to take over from Messi as Barcelona’s prime star with the Argentine expected to leave next season. It is perhaps right to say that he has made a perfect start to his career and ticked a major box after scoring in the El Clasico.
Zidane’s incredible Camp Nou record
Zidane continued his unbeaten record at Camp Nou as a manager and is now undefeated in six visits to Catalunya. Madrid have three wins and three draws in these fixtures under Zidane who has guided the club to two La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns as manager. This record at Camp Nou is another feather in his cap.
(With AFP inputs)