Messi scored a brace and more importantly the winning goal in the last seconds of the Clásico to give FC Barcelona the edge over its eternal rivals. The victory revived La Liga with only 5 matches to be played as Barcelona took the lead over Real Madrid (still with one game in hand). Messi’s performance was magnificent and will stay in one of the Clásico’s best moments when he stroke the winning goal and took off his shirt to show it to Real Madrid fans as a maestro asking for his name to be remembered. Finally Messi scored his career’s 500th goal at Bernabeu… it had to be written this way!
Barcelona Coach Luis Enrique comments on the big win:
“No one doubts the strength of Real Madrid, which in recent years has continued conquering titles. But today, after the showing from our fans in the last Champions League match, when they stayed behind us, we have returned the gesture by delivering them a victory.
These are demanding games that require maximum physical and mental preparation. The fact that we made it 3–2 in the 92nd minute makes it a gargantuan morale booster. it was fast-paced, but at times it was out of control, probably because of the Champions League game on Wednesday. The was often times wide open, which affected the rhythm.
Messi always generates an imbalance in the middle field and we tried to get him involved as much as possible. It might be more difficult in the middle of the fields because of the density of players. To allow him to participate, we have to keep players on the defensive line. He scored his 500th goal here in the 92nd minute, and the fact that it won the game will be a beautiful milestone for Barça.”
Real Madrid Coach Zidane reflects on the tough loss:
“The way we look at it is we had chances to score and kill the game off. That’s where we’re a little disappointed, with the opportunities we had. We’ve had a lot of matches where we create many chances and fail to score. You end up paying for that. Barcelona know how to play the game and they can hurt you”.
The referee has decided to show Sergio a red card and we have to accept it. I’ve got nothing to be angry with my players about. We’re going to keep doing things in the same way, perhaps there’s still a long way to go in LaLiga after today but nothing much has changed. It’s still in our hands and we’re going to move on and think about Wednesday’s game. It was an opportunity to take three points, but not to clinch LaLiga
I’m not saying we lost our heads but with the scores level and with ten men, we pushed very high up and that’s dangerous, so we’ve paid for it in the end. I’m not going to blame my players. We always try and win the game and we just didn’t manage it today. We’ve lost three points and we’re disappointed because over the course of the game we didn’t deserve to lose.
don’t think this defeat is definitive. If I thought that, I’d stop coaching tomorrow. It’s not easy to equalize a game with ten men. We had many chances and at 2-2 we almost got the third. This is not going to change our style or our approach.”