How Barcelona completed the three-peat over Real Madrid?

Xavi’s Barcelona have made it a habit to thrash Real Madrid of late, and the Catalan giants have just completed a three-peat over Los Blancos.

Barcelona have had the better of Real Madrid in the last three El Clasicos. Xavi Hernandez’s men have been at their best and have hardly given Madrid breathing room. Carlo Ancelotti’s men have had a decent season so far but have found it difficult against their rivals.

Xavi might have 99 other problems at Barcelona but beating Real Madrid is not one of them for sure. The Spanish manager has found it very easy to get the better of Los Blancos. His team have thrashed Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana final, Copa del Rey semi-final 1st Leg and La Liga since the start of the calendar year.

The Catalan giants have had a wonderful season so far. They are currently leading the race for the La Liga title and have a 12-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid after defeating them 2-1 on Sunday night. The Hard Tackle takes a look at all three defeats and tries to understand how Barcelona have managed the three-peat over Real Madrid.

Supercopa de Espana Final

Real Madrid 1-3 Barcelona

Barcelona won their first trophy under the management of Xavi by beating Real Madrid 3-1 in the Supercopa de Espana final of the 2022/23 season. Gavi opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 33rd minute, followed by Robert Lewandowski’s goal just before halftime.

In the second half, Pedri scored Barcelona’s third goal, sealing their victory. Though Karim Benzema scored a late consolation goal for Real Madrid, it was too late to change the outcome.

Copa del Rey Semi-final 1st Leg

Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona

Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final at the Bernabeu. Despite missing key players due to injuries, Barcelona defended well after Eder Militao’s own goal gave them the lead in the first half.

The match was intense and saw several heated moments between the rivals. The win was crucial for Barcelona, who were under pressure after recent setbacks which included their UEFA Europa League exit. And, they managed to get the job done in the first leg.

However, they still have 90 minutes of football left to play for them to qualify for the final. Given their recent track record against Real Madrid, it might not be that big a challenge.

La Liga

Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid

Barcelona earned a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in a crucial Clasico match, opening up a 12-point lead at the top of the league table. After falling behind to an own goal, Sergi Roberto equalized for Barcelona just before half-time.

The second half saw Barcelona dominate possession, while Real Madrid threatened on the counter with Vinicius Jr. However, a goal from Marco Asensio was disallowed for offside by VAR. In the final minutes of the game, a combination between Lewandowski and Alejandro Balde led to a winner from substitute Franck Kessie, condemning Real Madrid to another defeat.

But, How did Barcelona manage to do it?

Xavi is one of the biggest reasons behind Barcelona’s dominance over Real Madrid since the turn of the calendar. The Catalan giants have been clinical against their arch-rivals and have managed to pull off a hat-trick of wins.

Their struggle in Europe and the ongoing financial crisis have played a major role in their dominant display against Real Madrid. The former Spain international has managed to get together this group of players who now have a passion towards the club. They carry the identity of the club with them. And the football that they play is quite similar to the Barcelona of old where Xavi was the one pulling the string from the centre of the pitch.

The Catalan giants have been known to play attractive football and win games by a decent margin. But, of late things have changed a touch. Xavi has based his team’s game on their defence. They have the best defence in the league, with just nine goals conceded so far.

Barcelona have never been known to win games 1-0. But this time around, they have had quite a few 1-0 wins. He has found the right balance in his defence. The same has helped him against Los Blancos, who love to hit teams on the break.

The former Spain international’s team love to keep hold of the ball. And, they build attacks through a process more often than not which helps them as they are not exposed to counter-attacks that often. And, when they are hit on the break, the defence has enough pace to take care of things.

In short, the fact that he has based his game on a rock-solid defence and combined it with Barcelona’s philosophy of keeping the ball has done wonders for the club. And, it has been one of the most important reasons for their dominance over Los Blancos.

Meanwhile, Xavi’s appointment as Barcelona’s manager was a gamble for both parties involved. But, the Spanish manager has repaid the faith shown in him by the club. The league title is almost sealed, and their three-peat over Real Madrid is a cherry on top.

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