The shadow of doubt moves from Madrid to Barça

Piqué’s comment just after the game was genuinely revealing: “We now need to make sure we don’t slip into a rut of poor form...”. All of a sudden a triumphant Barça have been shrouded by a dark cloud following on from the result and further accentuated by the manner of the defeat as they fell apart in the final stage of yesterday’s game. The home side were on top for the majority of the match despite never taking complete initiative. Everything changed when Rakitic was replaced by Turan and the team inexplicably crumbled. As the game wore on they began to look feeble and even Madrid being reduced to ten men failed to give them an impetus.

Piqué’s post match comment paved the way for what many Barça supporters will be worried about as all of a sudden the tricky forthcoming Champions League tie against Atlético (who incidentally won 5-1 yesterday) looms large. Yesterday’s setback means that the league is not yet a foregone conclusion and Barça will now need to maintain the fight on all fronts as Madrid secured three points and the emotional battle at Camp Nou. Maybe it’s all as simple as the ‘MSN’ striking trio playing well again as yesterday Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez had below par games, possibly the result of long intercontinental travel after their respective World Cup qualifying games... perhaps. But the most dramatic aspect of yesterday’s game was how Barça collectively fell apart in the final stage of the game.

As for Real Madrid, I’ve written on many occasions about Keylor’s quality and the role of Casemiro and the decent form that the Madrid strike force are in. The team have still yet to find a constant rhythm and again this was apparent yesterday but they are strong at the back and in attack. They also have the buzz that Mr. ‘Rock n Roll’ as a local Spanish journalist has titled him in Marcelo. The win at Camp Nou takes away the pessimism that shrouded Real Madrid's season and adds to the belief that the 11th European Cup could be a genuine reality. It’s incredible how everything can change in just one day in football.