Last Saturday, it was a derby as two giants of the Spanish league.

Real Madrid and Barcelona disputed the primacy on La Liga chart. On Barcelona’s side, the big absence was Messi who is still recovering from his injury. On Real Madrid’s camp, Ronaldo was another big absence performance wise.

With talented players such as Iniesta, Neymar and Suarez filling in effectively for Messi, Ronaldo was not as active as many would have expected, lacking players who could support him. Benzima and Bale were not at their best although they did manage to penetrate on several occasions Barcelona’s defense without translating their efforts into goals. Technically, it is hard to expect much from a striker when his middle fielders are being outplayed.

When facing a team like Barcelona, many experts say, you need to make sure its middle field, led by a magician like Iniesta, is shut down in order to prevent strikers like Neymar or Suarez- even the absent Messi- to be fed numerously. This has not been the case. Iniesta monopolized the game, scoring and assisting his strikers. With 6 points gap from Real Madrid, Barcelona can manage to maintain their lead and clinch the trophy. It remains to be seen. The competition is just half way from the finish line.

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