Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two goals and assisted one goal as Barcelona destroyed tactless Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu in a league game on Sunday.
Ronald Araujo and Ferran Torres were also on target as Xavi Hernandez’s men totally outclassed Real Madrid in his first La Liga El-Classico as a manager.
Barcelona were by far the best team on the night and deservedly secured all three points against their rivals.
Carlo Ancelotti got it all wrong with his tactics for the game without talisman Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy. The Italian manager decided to change the shape of his team from the usual 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 diamond, 4-3-3, and 3-4-3 at a point in the game.
He opted for Nacho Fernandez at the left back, surprisingly David Alabi who could have been a good cover for that position was paired with Eder Militao in the center back while Daniel Carvajal completed the back four
The team started off with Luka Modric playing as a false nine joining Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior in the attack.
While Casemiro dropped deeper to play just in front of the defenders, Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde played on either side of the midfield.
It was obvious with the way Luka Modric was operating that Carlo Ancelotti wanted his players to press Barcelona players high up the pitch, which worked only in the opening exhanges.
As for Xavi Hernandez, his system as expected was all about playing from the back, ball retention and quick plays. He maintained his 4-3-3 shape but made a risky but effective choice at the right back.
The Spaniard decided to use center-back Ronald Araujo as the right-back instead of Dani Alves or Oscar Mingueza with Sergiño Dest out with hamstring injury.
This decision really paid off as Ronald Araujo did a good job on Vinicius Junior. He was able to match him sometimes pace-for-pace and imposed himself against the Brazillian winger.
Barcelona’s pressing game was way more effective as they prevented Real Madrid from retaining possession for the most part of the game.
On the other hand, Real Madrid’s pressing game was a terrible sight to behold as they struggled with their shapes 4-4-2, 3-4-3 and 4-3-3.
It was a lot easier for Barcelona players who know how to retain possession to take them apart.
When you have ball-playing center backs such as Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique, ball-playing goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen in your team, escaping the press comes with ease.
With Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Federico Valverde high up the pitch to join the attackers in the pressing game, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong exploited the spaces left behind.
Upon realizing his tactical blunder, Carlo Ancelotti tried different formations, in fact, Real Madrid ended the game playing three at the back but it was too late as Barcelona ran away with a 4-0 win.
In fact, two of Barcelona’s goals started from long balls from both Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique.
It could have been 8-0 on the night as Barcelona kept exploiting the tactical mistakes made by Carlo Ancelotti. Sometimes it looked like the Real Madrid players were confused and unsure of their roles on the pitch.
Good game for the neutrals and Barcelona fans but it was a terrible night for Carlo Ancelotti and his Real Madrid players as they were totally dominated on the night.
It felt like they were the away team and Barcelona the home team as Xavi Hernandez’s men deservedly secured a huge 4-0 win against Real Madrid at Bernabeu.