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Misa & Maite Were Bright Spots In A Tough Clásico Loss

You have to find the little victories vs. Barcelona.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Primera Division Femenina Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

It was El Clásico in the Primera Iberdrola, as Real Madrid faced Barcelona away — an encounter that always has an extra ounce of pressure due to the media and fans alike. Barcelona only needed a point from this game to secure the league title coming into this.

The game was a bloodbath; Barcelona attacked relentlessly from minute one to the final whistle and the game finished 5-0 in favor of the hosts. Madrid only had a couple of shots throughout the full ninety. The game was plagued with some dubious offside decisions that didn’t present a great image of the league to a wider audience, but also kept this from being an even bigger defeat for Madrid.

Here are a couple of Las Blancas players that stood out despite the loss.

Misa

When your goalkeeper is your standout player — even more so in 5-0 drubbing — that’s never a good sign. Misa held off wave after wave of attacks and shots and managed to keep the score under control for 40 minutes until the floodgates opened. She was called into action multiple times in the game, whether it be efforts from range or point blank saves. Misa has a habit of coming up big on these occasions and the passion she exhibits on the pitch is fan-like, which is matched by her efforts between the sticks. A future captain in the making, possibly!

Maite Oroz

Maite was one of the better players in the game despite being deployed out wide on the left. Despite not getting on the ball as much, Maite’s defensive contributions were sound. Her defensive contributions often fly under the radar because she isn’t physically robust, but her ability to tackle and regain possession or intercept plays with her game-reading ability were on display.

When she did get on the ball, she possessed composure. Her press resistance was extremely important in the few moments Madrid managed to play from their own third, especially in the second half (Maite operated in the double pivot after Kaci was subbed off for Sofie Svava). Her deft touches, close control, and quick, short exchanges with teammates helped Madrid escape sticky situations. A key factor is Maite’s body orientation when receiving, which allows her to quickly direct possession into space.

Bits & Pieces

  • Alexia Putellas once again showcased why she is unanimously deemed as the best player in the world. She was involved in three goals, scoring two and assisting another. Her runs from midfield were devastating and hard to track.
  • Patri Guijarro showcased her class on the ball by creating a beautiful lofted assist and scoring off of a thunderous first-time strike from the edge of the box. The range of her passing is outrageous and she provides a solid foundation for Barcelona to build everything from. Her reading of the game and well-timed tackling left Athenea visibly frustrated.
  • Caroline Graham Hansen is an absolute cheat code. Her 1v1 ability was devastating against both Olga and Svava and her deliveries from crosses and set-pieces were brilliant. Hansen was unlucky not to pick up an assist to show for her efforts.
  • Babett Peter once again displayed quality defending the box. She dealt with multiple crosses and balls into the box well, clearing danger on most occasions, and blocked multiple penalty-box entries. One of her challenges in the box denied a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Despite scoring an own goal, it was a decent performance from her.
  • Esther was the most involved attacker last night and did create some nice moments early on in the second half. Her decision-making and pass selection could’ve been better on occasions. She took some time to release the ball and could have found her teammates in better positions on certain sequences. Esther’s performance was full of effort.
  • Nahikari had some really bright moments after coming on and could have had a goal or assist. She set up Asllani for a shot, forcing a save, and had a cutback played to her by Athenea immediately after coming on, but Nahikari’s shot went wide.