Barcelona have been playing catch up since 1932 and finally surpass Real Madrid in number of Clásico victories after 87 years.
Lionel Messi and Barcelona had another huge motivation to beat Real Madrid tonight at the Bernabéu, where they came into it with a chance to realign history and give the club the ultimate bragging rights over their great rivals. And a 0-1 victory, thanks to a goal from Ivan Rakitic, was enough.
After Wednesday’s 3-0 win in the Copa del Rey, Barca drew level with Madrid in number of victories in the head to head, with both teams then at 95 each. It was a monumental win considering it had been 87 years since the clubs were last level on that front.
And now the Catalan club had the chance to surpass Los Blancos in the head to head after having played catch up since 1932, when they last had the advantage.
It has been really over the last two decades that Barcelona have managed to significantly close the gap in the head to head with Madrid, who have historically been the dominant team.
Before 2003, the Blaugrana had only won 13 of the 74 Clásicos played at the Bernabéu. But since 2004, they have now recorded 13 victories in the 25 games that have been played there. 11 of those victories have come during the last decade, which have included the particularly memorable 6-2 win in 2009, the 4-0 trouncing in 2015, and 3-0 victory last season.
Barca playing catch up since 1932
Before the meeting of the two sides at the old Chamartín stadium on January 31, 1932, Barcelona had the advantage with six wins to Madrid’s five. But two goals that day from Manuel Oilvares gave Madrid a 2-0 win, putting them level with their opponents with six wins a piece.
In 1933 Madrid took the lead and since then Barcelona have always been playing catch up. By 1965, Madrid had grown a maximum advantage of 16 wins (48 to 32) -- a gap that Barca have gradually managed to close over the proceeding 54 years to finally draw level in Wednesday night's victory in the Copa del Rey, and then surpass in LaLiga on Saturday.
Aside from taking the advantage in the head to head for the first time since January, 1932, the win for the Catalan side also gave them back-to-back Clásico victories in the space of 72 hours, something which they have never achieved before. Madrid have, on two occasions, beaten the Blaugrana twice in a three-day period: the LaLiga and Copa wins in 2013; and the back-to-back wins in the two legs of the Spanish Supercup in August 2017.
This evening the two sides took part in the 242nd Clásico, after the preceding 241 games had ended in 95 wins for each side and 51 draws. Barça now have 96.