Iniesta vs Madrid / PHOTO: Miguel Ruiz - FCB

FC Barcelona were the dominant side this evening in Madrid. The Blaugrana enjoyed most of the ball possession and they had the initiative throughout most of the match. The Catalans ended up with a one-all draw but they could have come away from tonight’s match with a massive advantage against a rival that are simply lethal on the counterattack.

First off, Gerard Piqué’s match was remarkable. He was the player that recovered the most amount of balls throughout the whole match. The defender won back possession 16 times and he denied another 16 passes/shots. Of his 70 pass attempts, 64 of them were successful. Piqué was resolute in the back line as he averted attack after attack from Madrid and he also went forward to threaten Diego López’ goal. He was well positioned throughout the 90 minutes and he also managed to stop what seemed to be unstoppable attacks. In the second half, he pulled out an incredible tackle to keep Ronaldo off the scoresheet.

Another player that showed his mettle was Sergio Busquets. The midfielder was imperious between the defence and the midfield. He’s vital to Barça’s style of play and he showed himself to be crucial in tonight’s match against perhaps the best team in the world in counter attacks, Real Madrid.

Cesc Fàbregas, who scored Barça’s goal, moved perfectly up top. His coordination and understanding with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi was superb. On 49 minutes he gave his team the lead. In fact, Cesc was the most dangerous Barça player on the pitch. He converted the goal and he could have scored a couple more.

Once again Don Andrés Iniesta was magisterial. Barça were able to dominate in part to the midfielder’s brilliance. Iniesta played a fundamental role for his team, especially in the second half.  His football is exhausting for his rivals, and tonight he provided the spark for Barça when the team went forward.