FC Barcelona have won their first major trophy of the Xavi Hernández era! Not just that, but they have done it in style, playing exactly the kind of football that Curlers want to see. And to make the taste sweeter still, they did it against none other than Real Madrid!
The King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh was treated to an authentic spectacle on Sunday. That was always going to happen. El Clásico never fails to disappoint.
But this time, the spectacle was a blaugrana one. From start to finish, only one team ever looked like winning this. It was serious, it was complete, it was a simply perfect performance. Gorgeous to behold.
Barça took 33 minutes to open the scoring but could easily have been ahead earlier, the best of several chances being the Lewandowski effort that needed something tremendous from Courtois to keep out.
The players in the blaugrana shirts looked a lot more comfortable with what they were doing than did the men in white, and it was an error in the Madrid defense that led to the goal when it finally came. Lewnadowski picked out Gavi and the teenager defied his age with the coolest of finishes.
Following another muddle in the Madrid defense, Frenkie de Jong picked out Gavi running down an empty left wing. Lewandowski was there to meet the pass, and that was 2-0. Barça were making beating Madrid look simple!
They had eased their way through the first half, and the scoreline was doing them justice, and much as Madrid did everything they could to get back into the game, it was rarely enough to trouble Barça, and instead the Catalans ended up extending their lead.
Another uncharacteristically sloppy mix-up in the Real Madrid ranks sent Lewandowski powering free to once again link-up with a stellar Gavi. There was Pedri to meet the second assist of the day from today’s deserved MVP. And that was 3-0.
It was game over with twenty minutes to spare. Barça, already kings of the Super Cup, were going to be adding a 13th title to their collection. So utterly in command, at one point they strung together 43 passes.
Karim Benzema did pull one back for the opposition in the final moments. But Real Madrid didn’t even bother celebrating. They knew it meant nothing. They were already well and truly beaten by then.
The wins hands Barcelona their first trophy of the season and also of the Xavi era comes on the back of a simply magnificent performance in Riyadh