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El Clásico, Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Match Review

A woeful performance by Los Blancos turns into jeers for the whole team and President Florentino Pérez while Barcelona earn a statement win in El Clásico.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

After such an abysmal performance by Rafa Benítez's men it's hard not to wonder how can this Real Madrid team play this bad. Not one player seemed to care a single bit as Barcelona completely dominated the whole match effortlessly by keeping the possession and hurting Madrid with dangerous counterattacks as soon as Los Blancos tried to attack without tracking back. That same pattern was repeated over and over again until the final whistle. One of the worst performances by Real Madrid in a very long, long time.

Barcelona's opening goal was well deserved and scored in the 11th minute of the game. By then, Real Madrid had already shown worrying signs with the ball, being unable to keep it for longer than 20 seconds while it's true that Barcelona also seemed toothless prior to that goal. It would be reasonable to say that Real Madrid rolled over after that but it would be way too generous with their first 11 minutes.

Barcelona scored their second goal and virtually put the nail in Madrid's coffin in the 39th minute, something that infuriated the fans at the Bernabéu. The players left the pitch after the half-time whistle listening loud jeers while some fans also blamed President Florentino Pérez by singing "Florentino dimisión -- Florentino out --". Real seemed to start the second half way better but their charge ended very soon and Barcelona had time to score two more. Luis Suárez and Iniesta were just too much to handle for a careless side like Real Madrid.

The blame should be shared. Benítez decided to start a very attacking-minded lineup and there was no midfield to contain Barcelona's possession game. This made no sense as neither James, Bale, Benzema or Ronaldo helped Modric and Kroos. That's arguably Benítez's fault and something that needs to be addressed if these 11 players are going to start again. That thing said, the players simply did not care enough and their effort has to be questioned. Kroos, Danilo, Marcelo, Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo did not try their best and that's something Real cannot afford in El Clásico.

The fans have the right to blame Florentino Pérez's decisions last summer. The team did not end the season well under Carlo Ancelotti but if firing the Italian was the right choice, hiring Benítez certainly wasn't. He wasn't a coveted coach in European football and only West Ham United were interested in his talents. That says something. Assembling this roster and putting it in Benítez's hands was a mistake to say the least.

All in all, turbulent times ahead for Real Madrid. How will Pérez react to the fans' complaints? How much credit left does Benítez have? It all remains to be seen, but it sure looks like this personnel will not end the season together.

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