Barcelona Femení kicks off their campaign to the 2020/21 season as the defending champions with a 0-4 victory against Real Madrid. The first official “El Clasico” in women’s football history lighted up with the goals from Patri Guijarro, Lieke Martens, Alexia Putellas and an own goal from Misa Rodriguez.
In this editorial review, our top editors will review the team’s performance against Real Madrid.
A historic rivalry makes an exciting debut
The first ‘El Clasico’ lives up to its hype. Mad scenes for 90 mins, from showing excellent skills, quality to uncharacteristic and sloppy errors from both ends. Real Madrid looks like a different team from last season; however, Barca’s most prominent threats were Barca themselves. Majority of the time Madrid spent chasing the balls, hints of attacking force now and then in counters but overall their saving grace is their keeper Misa Rodriguez who is responsible for the scoreline to end at 0-4 instead of a minimum 0-6, despite her own goal.
Barcelona Femeni had a sloppy first half due to the lack of midfield unity and a rather below average game from Aitana Bonmati. Barca’s backline, fullbacks and to be very specific Leila’s lack of positional awareness once again cost them moments of a scare. Mapi Leon was continuously covering for her.
All things considered a fitting start to a historic rivalry. Barcelona Femeni showed their superiority in the end and sent a clear message that they’re ready to fight and defend for their place in Spanish football.
Tooba’s player of the match: Alexia Putellas, this doesn’t come as a surprise. The Catalan captain with a goal and assist proved to be a continuous threat, some of her excellent passes could have been goals e.g.Marta’s miss and Misa’s several saves. As always, in her character, she did everything right in the midfield.
Leaders with chaotic vibes
The first Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona female edition was the only game we could watch in this first weekend of Primera Iberdrola. Barcelona Femeni dominated the game against a somewhat defensive Real Madrid; the chaos in Barça’s defensive line left me with a feeling of uneasiness. These feelings did not come from Madrid occasions (not that many and not that clear) but from the chaotic vibes our defence transmitted.
The first half ended with Misa having a great game and denying a bunch of goals to our attacking line. Patri Guijarro, however, managed to score a great goal to open the score. Then, the chaos in defence started, and it was well exploited by Real Madrid, who managed to score. Luckily for Barça, the goal was (wrongly) denied by the referee. This was indeed a gift, and, in my opinion, as it was crucial to the dynamic of the game. After the denied goal, Madrid started to believe in their options and put in some trouble to our still chaotic defence. In any case, Lieke Marten’s (great) goal in the second half smashed the last hopes of Madrid players with the 0- 3 giving Culers a peace of mind and increasing Lluís conundrum regarding who should be in the starting squad. Lluís early changes were a happy surprise, and he even modified the defensive line giving some minutes to Codina. Barcelona Femeni won 0-4 and is the leader of the competition. A leader with a chaotic vibe but still the leader.
Laia’s player of the match: Despite conceding four goals, for me, the best player of the game was Misa. Her saves gave Real Madrid Femenino hope, and she was the player to blame for the short goal difference at half-time. A promising goalkeeper who could be crucial for Real Madrid’s European aspirations this year.
Dominant Barça vs Defensive Real Madrid
A comfortable win for a dominant Barça. Barcelona Femeni faced a very defensive Real Madrid team who made it hard for the blaugranas to score in the first half. Madrid keeper Misa Rodríguez saved her team countless times as Barça could’ve been up by three goals in the first half if it wasn’t for her. In the second half, it was over for Real Madrid. Barcelona was able to break down the defence to create attacking opportunities which resulted in three goals. After the fourth goal, they had the game wrapped up, had more open space and were even still trying to get the fifth goal.
All in all, with a clean sheet, 3 points away from home and a Real Madrid thrashing: it was the perfect way to start the league. There were some defensive issues at times that will have to be addressed, but it was good to see Lluís Cortés making changes earlier in the game. When Sofia Jakobsson came on for Real Madrid, she gave them more presence, but there was no chance getting past Sandra Paños, and by that point, a comeback wasn’t happening.
Natalie’s Player of the Match: Has to be Alexia for me. A goal and an assist. She had to score in the first match of the Primera Iberdrola, especially against Real Madrid. She even could’ve scored a couple more if it wasn’t for Misa Rodríguez’s saves. She had a great vision to find her teammates and good positioning to create chances on goal. She was confident holding the ball against the Madrid defence. Just another top performance from Alexia.
A solid start for the defending champions
Barcelona Femeni started as clear favourites. The defending champions started their league defence in style. Barca has kept the core of their squad together. The best part about the team is that there is no dependence on one player in the squad. It consists of the spine of the Spainish team that includes last season’s top scorer, Jenni Hermoso, and one of the best goalkeeper of previous season, Sandra Panos and have international stars with the likes of Lieke Martens, Caroline Graham Hansen and Asisat Oshoala.
The first half saw only one goal coming from Azulgrana’s young star, Patri Guijarro in the 18th minute. She became the first player to score in women’s El Classico! The second half had more chances and more goals. The first coming at 55th minute which was an own goal that was created thanks to some fantastic play by Caroline Graham. A little later Alexia Putellas had a great shot saved by the keeper. Alexia was consistently excellent throughout the match. Lieke Martens was subbed in the second half and made her mark by a superb half volley from inside the box making it 3-0. Alexia finally capitalised her opportunity to score an incredible goal a few minutes later. Other than a little drama caused due to the cancellation of a goal scored by Madrid, the match was entertaining and pretty expected. Barcelona Femeni controlled the game throughout the 90 minutes and played with confidence. They have successfully opened their title defence in an extraordinary fashion with a morale-boosting victory over eternal football rivals, Real Madrid.
Afreen’s player of the match: Alexia Putellas. It is difficult to pick up one player from such a great team performance, but Alexia’s consistency makes her the best performer of the day for me. She controlled the game right from the beginning.