The Camp Nou was buzzing with more than 94,000 in attendance to witness the ultimate rivalry in club football – Barcelona against Real Madrid. But the enthusiasm soon disappeared into saddening frowns and the flavour of the entire game fell flat at half time with both teams going into the tunnel with a score line of 0-0.

Lionel Messi missed a sitter; Luis Suarez lost his clinical touch and Ivan Rakitic failed to pick up any movements of his forward line. The only respite that emerged out of this match was a defensive master class from the visiting side armed with Casemiro and Federico Valverde in the midfield and with Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in defence.  

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In their previous outings at the Camp Nou, Real usually dropped back and unleashed themselves on the counter but this time around Zinedine Zidane brought a different approach. He allowed his players to press up high to disrupt the momentum of Barcelona’s game and unleashed Casemiro and Valverde to mark Messi and Suarez.

The tactic worked and the Blaugrana failed to dictate the tempo of the game and ended up having just nine shots while their opponents registered almost double, 17 shots in the entire game. Making his debut in El Clasico, Frenkie De Jong couldn’t find his rhythm due to incessant pressing by the visitors while Griezmann lost track of his position.

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Unfortunately, the fans had to sit for a frustrating 90 minutes with only a couple of moments to send them in ecstasy. The game exposed Barcelona’s struggles in defence and Real’s new style of play in high profile matches. On the day, the game ended in a 0-0 draw with Gareth Bale’s goal being ruled off-side in the second half.

Twitter was following all the action and had a take of its own. Have a look for yourself.

Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Lluis Gene