Barcelona and Real Madrid May 09, 2018 3:09 AM

By : xiaolan

Nah, nah, it was quiet,” Marcelo grinned and everyone laughed. A few metres away, through the door to the left, Ernesto Valverde took a seat and came straight out with it. “Decaffeinated,” he said dead pan, the hint of a smirk of his face. There was a bit of a laugh then too. Everyone knew what they meant, the irony not lost on anyone, Valverde’s first word of the week, sent right back at them. Youth Richard Jefferson Swingman Green Nike Jersey: NBA Denver Nuggets #22 Salute to ServiceOutside, the confetti had settled all around the Camp Nou, billions of bits of colour everywhere, and it was quiet now, midnight approaching and 97,797 people heading home, but still their minds raced and their hearts too, trying to make sense of it all, picking their way through what they’d just seen. “Bloody hell, what a clásico!” Barcelona’s manager said. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Decaffeinated was the word, but it was wrong. All week, it had been repeated endlessly: Barcelona were champions and double winners already while Real Madrid were preparing for the European Cup final, happy just for no one to get hurt. There was nothing to play for, or so they said, but there was: for Barcelona, history called, the chance to complete a first unbeaten season for 86 years – and back when Madrid did it in 1932 and Athletic Club did it in 1930, there were only 18 games, so you could pretty much call it the first ever. With four matches left, it felt like only Madrid could deny them and they would do all they could. Besides, football tends to find a way, a momentum all of its own, and in a clásico there’s always something to play for. So, they played – the way they so often do in this game, the match that always seems to deliver, even when it’s not supposed to. Set up to be “as exciting as a hospital dinner,” as David Gistau wrote, instead it was very, very tasty. Decaffeinated? Aye, right. “There was plenty of caffeine,” Valverde said. “Caffeine? It was pure taurine,” wrote Marca. They called it “war”; and “in war there is no peace,” insisted Manuel Bud Dupree Youth jersey Jabois in El País, likening it to “fishing with dynamite”. It was explosive, all right. There were 28 shots, chances at one end then the other, seven yellow cards given and a penalty not given, maybe two. A red card, a goal disallowed, controversy and confrontations everywhere. Sergio Taylor Decker Jersey Ramos and Luis Suárez, Luka Modric and Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto and Marcelo. Messi went in on Ramos, the world upside down. There was an argument in the tunnel as they headed off at half-time, Barcelona having just been reduced to 10 men and Messi recriminating the referee, and another one as they headed back out again at the end of it, Nacho shaking his head and muttering “unbelievable” at Gerard Piqué. Which was one word for a night that ended with the players embracing, spent but smiling, the final score 2-2. There were four goals, all of them superb– one each for Suárez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Gareth Bale – and enough to keep everyone going for weeks, AS suggesting that it bordered on the days of Mourinho v Guardiola. Not least when it came to the thing some of them love best of all: the referee. “It’s a good job there’s no VAR or we’d still be out there,” Valverde joked. In the first half Alejandro Hernández Hernández ruled out a goal from Suárez for offside and sent off Roberto for hitting out at Marcelo; in the second he didn’t give a penalty when Marcelo was fouled by Jordi Alba and didn’t blow when Suárez left Raphael Varane on the floor, hooking his ankle as he passed to make the second goal, later admitting: “It was a bit of a foul.” Above all, it was a bit good. “A mad house”, Marca said. “Mucho clásico, not much of a referee,” AS insisted. “Surrealism takes the clásico,” declared El Mundo. “Colossal,” El País’s headline called it, capturing it best. Because for all the controversy there was football too; the clásico it lived up to its usual billing again, if not the billing it had been given in the week before. The speed of it, the skill, the quality. The commitment, too. Yes, it was edgy at times, and there were complaints too, but there was also a dignity in the way they competed, as if everything was at stake, wholesale nfl jerseys from china cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale jerseys

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