The biggest game of the league season has come and gone, and Real Madrid left the Nou Camp with a solitary point. Despite a bright performance, Los Blancos were unable to strike the killer blow to leave Catalonia with all three points.
Casemiro is a machine:
When Real played Valencia without the presence of Casemiro, Madrid felt safe ,but his absence was noticeable. With the Brazilian back in the lineup in this game, he showed exactly why he’s so vital to this side.
Sitting deep in the Real midfield, Casemiro was a defensive stalwart. He completed a team-high 5 tackles, made an interception, made ten ball recoveries and completed 85% of his 67 passes. He repeatedly put out any budding fires in the midfield, covering the backline and giving the assured protection that only he can.
Between the strong presence of the Brazilian and his partner, Fede Valverde, the pair completely disrupted the flow of Barcelona’s attack. Leaping into challenges and hovering up all the loose balls, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez did not make a single pass to each other in the first half. It’s plausible that the presence of Valverde and Casemiro was a big factor in that disruption.
So effective was the midfield and Casemiro that Leo Messi ultimately struggled to get into dangerous positions and consistently create danger. Few teams have managed to mute the Barça attack so easily but the return of the Brazilian allowed for Zidane’s side to muzzle the revered frontline of the Blaugrana.
It leaves you to pose the question…