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Aubameyang leads the way for Barcelona with two goals in Real Madrid thrashing | La Liga

“I have fond memories of the Bernabéu,” said Xavi Hernández and here’s another for the collection. “Historic”, he called it and it gave him perhaps even more satisfaction than all those other nights as a player. visit as Barcelona coach, the man in charge of their revival, saw a run of five classic The defeats end in an astonishing 4-0 victory against their biggest rivals. An ideologue attached to his footballing faith, he always believed in it, but it still wasn’t supposed to be this good so soon.

Two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and one each from Ronald Araújo and Ferran Torres completed the scoring but not the story. If Xavi had fondly remembered classics where Barcelona “played good football and won, where we felt superior to them”, it was the same, suggesting seismic change for his club. With Madrid still 12 points ahead of them, it’s too late for this season – and it might have played their part – but maybe not for next year and beyond.

“We’re back!” Gerard Pique said after the game and Barcelona produced a performance that suggests he might not have been wrong. The contest, if there ever was one, ended before time. Perhaps even before the break, the stadium was almost silent as they walked away at half-time, apart from the high northeast corner where around 300 Barcelona supporters had been audible for a while, serenading Xavi and indulging in “olés”.

Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) celebrates a goal with Ferran Torres, who also scored against Real Madrid. Photography: Manu Fernandez/AP

From Madrid supporters, what little noise there was came mainly from whistles as they watched their team crumble. Barcelona already had a 2-0 lead and full control. Included as a means of protection against the threat from Vinícius Jr and tested when the Brazilian set up Fede Valverde for the first shot of the night after four minutes, Araújo had headed in the second instead.

If Vinícius’ first run was a warning, it was a fleeting moment and an even better chance and stoppage immediately followed at the other end when Aubameyang was stopped by Thibaut Courtois inside the penalty area and then saw the goalkeeper refuse Ousmane Dembélé. there is at least one great moment from the Madrid goalkeeper, here there were more, but for him and a series of misses it could have been six or seven, which they lamented on the Barcelona bench.

Madrid had more to lament. Karim Benzema’s absence had led to Luka Modric being deployed almost like a false nine behind Vinícius and Rodrygo. If Carlo Ancelotti’s plan was designed to give them more control, it didn’t really work. the move to three centre-backs early in the second half was meant to provide security that would end up being an even bigger failure.

Before Barcelona had even led, Torres had deflected a shot just past the post, and glorious footwork and a recovered ball from Pedri had given the former City striker a second chance which Casemiro slid to block. just before the half-hour mark, Aubameyang did find a way through, heading in to Dembélé’s superb cross for his sixth league goal since joining from Arsenal.

There was a brief reminder of the Madrid threat when they suddenly burst, only for Vinícius to fall to Marc-André ter Stegen and Barcelona’s grip not loosen. When Araújo jumped between David Alaba and Éder Militão to score the second, it felt already over and soon it really was.

Ancelotti made changes but they didn’t work; they just made it worse, the second half only lasted 30 seconds when Torres was left one-on-one with Courtois. He curled that shot past the post but quickly got another one, Barcelona cutting Madrid open multiple times Frenkie de Jong and Dembélé combined, Aubameyang heard the call and provided a nice flick and Torres almost produced the same finish as two minutes earlier.

Five minutes later it was done, Aubameyang cleaned up again and lifted him coolly, gently over the keeper and into the net Initially ruled out for offside, a long wait for VAR finally delivered Barcelona’s fourth, sending out subs and sprinting staff to celebrate and fans heading for the exit, just wanting to go home.

It was something to see, and a manitis – a small hand, a goal for each finger – could have followed quickly, as could a hat-trick when Aubameyang somehow headed Jordi Alba’s pass from close range. It could also have happened when Courtois pushed Torres back, Dembélé somehow shot wide from six yards and Memphis Depay was denied by the keeper. Four should do: It’s definitely a start, with Xavi the coach inviting a new generation to feel like he did here.

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