1) The first two goals both featured the goalscorer being involved much earlier in the move before ghosting into the box and scoring. Classic Barca football with plenty of pirouettes and passing.
2) On the other hand, Ronaldo’s defending was terrible for both the first 2 goals. Interestingly Mourinho started him on the right. The pre-match thinking was he would be on the left, almost daring Dani Alves to attack. Instead he was on the right and didn’t help on Villa. The first goal he was just drifting aimlessly and on the second one he was nowhere to be seen.
3) Early in the second half, Leo Messi went on one of his trademark slalom runs. As he beat 3 defenders and sucked in the rest of the Madrid defence David Villa was wide open on the left and calling for the ball. Unfortunately Messi shot and the chance was wasted.
Fitting then that Messi’s next two big contributions were brilliant assists to David Villa who not surprisingly finished them with aplomb.
4) The referee – I didn’t agree with all his decisions but I enjoyed the spirit in which he refereed the game. He didn’t pull players up for silly off the ball incidents but did step in and book players for bad tackles. Overall an excellent performance in difficult circumstances.
5) Xavi – With Barca starting Messi in a false 9 position, it left space for someone else to run into the centre forward position. Who would have that would be Xavi. Seizing the moment he made an uncharacteristic run and was rewarded by a sublime ball from Iniesta and just a bit of luck.
6) Jose Mourinho is famous for his daring substiutions – today he took off Mehsut Ozil and bought on another defensive midfielder in Lass Diara. Then he took of Marcelino and bought on Arbeloa – damage control.
7) Iniesta was outstanding. There was talk of him starting as part of the front 3 which I’m okay if you’re looking to strengthen the defence, but its not his best position. When he and Xavi are part of a 3 man midfield, Barca are irresistible. Real looked like they were trying to press higher up in the 2nd half, but Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and even Busquets were just spinning and passing their way around them.
Let’s not forget that Iniesta was missing against Inter Milan. I have feeling that if he had been there, the result would have been different.