A match summary / review of the Barcelona 1–2 Osasuna game.
At home against Osasuna, Barcelona had to make amends with the Basque team as they drew the reverse tie in the game that revealed Ansu Fati to the world. They didn’t have much to play for, other than the three points and putting pressure on Real Madrid. With a four-point advantage before the two last games, the Madridistas were inevitably going to wrap up the league, but Barça had to win to keep the momentum for the remainder of the season. After Osasuna led early at Camp Nou and Madrid opened the scoring against the Yellow Submarine, it’s fair to say all hopes were gone. Barça deserved much better, however.
Take the ball, pass the ball, much like the theme of this first half. Barcelona played well, with a lot of room for improvement, but Osasuna stung them at the worst time. With more than 80℅ possession, the Blaugrana side did not know what to do with the ball, and the static players up front did not help. Ansu Fati played too wide, while Braithwaite walked a lot and Leo did Leo things by running at the right time. The midfield was nearly perfect, with Riqui Puig and Rakitic putting some daring passes on the table while Sergi Roberto did not cover himself in all the glory.
Osasuna came to the Camp Nou with a plan, and they executed it perfectly by putting ten men behind the ball and waiting for an opening. After a first dangerous attempt, former Barça B player, José Arnaiz scored a great finish in Ter Stegen’s net, and Osasuna led after 15 minutes. Messi had two free-kicks, and Barcelona won many corners, but to no avail.
? — Arthur Melo on the bench. pic.twitter.com/PHcd2Uwzbg— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) July 16, 2020
With Real Madrid’s Benzema scoring in the first 30 minutes against Villarreal, the league looked all but wrapped up for the Madridistas, and Barça’s result at half-time facilitated it as it gave Los Blancos confidence.
First-half score: Barcelona 0-1 Osasuna
Barcelona scored thrice in one half but only came out with a disappointing 1-2 defeat in the end. The Catalans came with a plan this second half to keep their home record intact, and they should’ve come back with more than a singular point. They pushed as hard as they could, pushing that Osasuna defence to their limits, but could only find a way through a free-kick. First, a great pass from the left came to Messi, who was in an offside position, and the Argentinean genius gave it to Braithwaite, who smashed it in the goal. Offside and Barça had to go again. All the pushing and the half-chances led to a breakthrough in that rigid defence as Luis Suarez got fouled and Messi scored his fifth free-kick of the term, shaving the post in the process.
Osasuna tried to play for the draw, with their low block annihilating many of the Culés forwards. Still, Messi’s high pass found a way to Suarez, also in an offside position, and the Uruguayan finished it sublimely. Offside, again. While VAR came into play in Madrid, as Los Blancos led Villarreal all night, it played a role at Camp Nou and Enric Gallego was sent off for foul play on Lenglet. In the last few minutes, that coincided with Frenkie De Jong’s return after a month without football, Barça played champagne football, to no avail and they pinned Osasuna back while not entirely breaking the Basque side.
All this hard work from the Catalans was thrown down the bin as Osasuna found a second lead through Roberto Torres. On another day, this second half gives Barça the win, but it doesn’t mean anything anyways as Real Madrid won the league at the Santiago Bernabéu tonight. A sad night for Barcelona, but some players can be proud of their performances.
Final score: Barcelona 1-2 Osasuna
Barcelona – Osasuna
%75 – Possession – %25
17 – Shots – 9
2 – Shots on target – 5
7 – Fouls – 14
4 – Yellow Cards – 1
0 – Red Cards – 1
2 – Offsides – 1
10 – Corners – 2
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo (59′ Arturo Vidal), Piqué, Lenglet, Junior Firpo (79′ Alba); Roberto, Rakitic (67′ Busquets), Riqui Puig (79′ De Jong); Messi, Ansu Fati, Braithwaite (59′ Luis Suarez)
Goals: 62′ Lionel Messi (freekick)
Osasuna: Herrera; Nacho Vidal, Navas, Hernandez, David Garcia, Estupinan; Pérez, Moncayola (85′ Roberto Torres), Brasnac (46′ Oier Sanjurjo); Adrian (70′ Enrique Barja), José Arnaiz (71′ Gallego)
Goals: 16′ José Arnaiz, 94′ Roberto Torres
That brings an end to the Osasuna – Barcelona match summary.
Three talking points from Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona
In the final edition of El Clásico in the 2020/21 domestic campaign, Barcelona incurred their fifth defeat of the league campaign. It was end-to-end stuff in the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, as an exceptional first-half performance from the hosts was followed up by a tantalizing second from Barça.
This game had everything someone could ask for in a Clásico. There was controversy, passion, goals and for the first time in a few years, a red card was the cherry on the top. These are Barca Universal’s takeaways from the game in the capital.
Real Madrid’s efficiency on show
With four shots on target, 1.58 Expected Goals, and two goals to their name, Real Madrid put to show their sheer efficacy in front of goal, as well as in defence. For the first half at least, Zinédine Zidane’s men were always at the right place, at the right time making all the right movements and to devastating effect.
Los Blancos‘ philosophy is one of winning, and doing so regardless of how the victory is earned. Contrary to the Catalans, who not only need to win, but also do it a certain way, Los Merengues are more than capable of abandoning their usually proactive approach to games in favour of a more reactive one. The fact that they are not bound to a specific ideology makes winning matches one of the simplest of tasks.
They held the ball for only 32% of the game, which goes completely against what a majority would expect them to. At the end of the day, however, possession matters significantly less than what one does with it. With every lapse in concentration from the Garnet and Blue, Madrid had enough men forward, and well enough positioned, to hit them where it hurt.
Despite the relatively low xG, they had enough big chances to even lead 4-0 come the halftime whistle. When it came to defending, their tight-knit defence, in stark contrast to that of their rivals, barely broke a sweat. They imposed an impenetrable low block, and applied a collective press to force as many errors as they could.
In addition to this, Zidane has the luxury of having a starting eleven of devastatingly versatile footballers in his arsenal. Fede Valverde for instance was as much a right-back as he was a central midfielder and a winger. He executed each role to pristine perfection, and so did his peers to ensure all 3 points, and bragging rights stayed in Madrid.
Excellent mentality shift
Following such a harrowing performance in the first half, few, if any, could have expected Barcelona to mount a comeback. Had this been any other team, that would have been possible, but given Real Madrid’s first-half performance, this was all but envisageable.
Indeed, the Catalans did fail to get any points from the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium, however, the sheer mentality they showed in the second half was a sight for sore eyes. Ronald Koeman made the necessary adjustments to the side, reverting to the 4-3-3 and with it, they wrought trouble in the Madrid backline.
Lionel Messi celebrating the goal. pic.twitter.com/ZX1HzWSqAR— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) April 10, 2021
If in the first half Barça seemed caged in endless cycles of worthless possession, then in the second they made thorough use of it. The Blaugrana created eleven chances for themselves in the second period, and while doing this, they in turn limited Los Blancos to just a single shot on goal for the entirety of the half; a complete turnover from their performance in the opening 45 minutes.
It was nail-biting stuff up until the final second of the game, as Ilaix Moriba’s volleyed effort struck the underside of the crossbar. Given the overall performance from both sides, a draw would have been a considerably fairer result, but even in defeat with this version of Barça, the players and fans know that they can keep their heads held high.
A game of fine margins
Games of the magnitude of El Clásico will forever be decided by the most minute of details and the same was the case here.
The first significant one was the frame of the goal. In the first half, following the umpteenth counter attack from Real Madrid, Fede Valverde, who up until then was having yet another phenomenal showing against Barcelona, struck the frame of the post with a shot that crucially bounced underneath Sergio Busquets.
In the second half, Ronald Araújo nearly scored an own goal, but with Ter Stegen rooted to the spot, the ball rolled delicately onto the post and out for a corner. In the final minute of the match, and with Madrid fighting for their lives, Ilaix Moriba struck the underside of the crossbar to end this sensational tie on an emotional high.
Jordi Alba has often been criticized for being just as much a blessing offensively as he is a curse defensively. In the build-up to the hosts’ opener, he had one task to fulfill: mark his opposing fullback. This is one he absolutely failed, as he drifted too far inside, and by the time he had noticed his error, Lucas Vázquez already had Karim Benzema in his sights. Too little, too late.
The final significant detail was in the goal that won Los Blancos the game. After what many consider a poorly given free-kick from the referee’s standpoint, Toni Kroos surely could not believe his eyes when he saw the sheer state of Barça’s wall. Marc André Ter Stegen’s poor leadership of his defenders left him utterly vulnerable, and his German counterpart spared him no blushes, slotting it home to seal the victory for his side.