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El Clásico, FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Initial reaction

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  • Set pieces need to be addressed as soon as possible. Real Madrid conceded against a team that should not be powerful when the ball is in the air. With Atlético de Madrid ahead in the Champions League Quarterfinals, Carlo Ancelotti and his coaching staff can't figure out an answer to this problem soon enough.
  • Luka Modric's value cannot be stated enough. His contribution during the whole first half was huge, stealing possession away from Barcelona while making good plays on his own. He was deeply missed during his groin injury because of the balance he provides to the team's midfield.
  • Real Madrid's opposition ALWAYS get the best out of their opportunities. FC Barcelona scored twice on their first two attempts. And that's a trend. Why does that happen? Does it have something to do with the goalkeeper? Or is it just that the opposition's opportunities are always more dangerous because of the way Real Madrid defend?
  • Referee Mateu Lahoz lost control of the game. It's always hard to know what to expect from this man, but he was pulling the trigger way to easily on the yellow cards, both for Barcelona and Real Madrid. That ended up hurting the spectacle.
  • The team is tired. Ancelotti's men were exhausted during the second half and could not recover the ball quite as easily as during the first 45 minutes. Carlo Ancelotti stated weeks ago that Real Madrid did not have a problem with fatigue, but it looked otherwise tonight.
  • Real Madrid need some serious depth on the bench. It's true that James' injury hurt that part of the roster, but Ancelotti's options to change a game are still too limited even if the Colombian was available. Nobody knows what will happen this next summer, but Real Madrid need to buy at least two players and improve the bench.
  • Devastating loss for Real's chances at the title. Sitting 4 points behind Barcelona in the table, this will prove to be a decisive loss for Real Madrid. Furthermore, Los Blancos could have collected a draw had they been accurate, so this will only make things worse for Real Madrid's confidence.