September 2010 was the last time anyone was able to win at the Camp Nou. The winners were the now relegated Hercules team that Trezeguet used to play for. Hercules is gone, Trezeguet is gone and this amazing record is gone as well. And not a single Real Madrid fan in the world could ask of a better way to break that statistic.
Cristiano Ronaldo grabs his 42nd goal in la Liga (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qeFnfj-ykQ&feature=g-all-u&context=G2beef57FAAAAAAAARAA) and most likely it was the goal that was worth a season. It was worth a title. It was worth la Liga. Cristiano broke the hearts of more than 90,000 Barcelona spectators in the Camp Nou less than three minutes after Alexis had come on for a frustrated Xavi and scored the momentary equalizer. The match was the perfect summary of la Liga: Barcelona for those few minutes that Alexis equalized the game had the illusion they could get back in la Liga that had belonged to Madrid almost the entire season, but immediately after the illusion was expunged from the Camp Nou by Ronaldo who in a Raul-like fashion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVPBF-uYi2w) tells Barcelona fans to “Calm down. You forget I’m here.” and put the game out of reach for los azulgrana. He also placed the league out of reach for them. Plus seven points with four games left to play. A massive gap.
Barcelona had cut down Madrid’s lead from 10 points to 4 before the Camp Nou fixture and had an incredible chance to cut it at 1, but Mourinho’s men weren’t going to have any of that. They had worked too hard for too long. Karanka had said prior to the match “These boys deserve to win la Liga”. And yes they do. After that win, they most definitely do. If Real Madrid had won the league without beating Barcelona even once it would have been a bittersweet title. Instead Real Madrid managed to beat Barcelona in their stadium, on a pitch that is nearly impossible to get a win from. Cristiano had defined it “Mission Impossible 4” after the Champions League first leg exactly a year ago, Mourinho after the second leg of la Copa del Rey in January had stated that it was impossible to win at the Camp Nou. Even Ibrahimovic concurred with that statement after Milan were defeated 3-1 at the Camp Nou in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
But they were wrong. Gloriously wrong. Mourinho had gotten his tactics down perfectly and Pep took a gamble with the young Tello and Thiago for this massive match, preferring to start them instead of Fabregas and Alexis. What a mistake that was in hindsight. José must have been thanking Pep when he saw the Barcelona starting line up. Mourinho chose the team he fielded against Bayern confirming Coentrão again who was harshly criticized for Gomez’s last minute goal as Lahm skipped the ball past the lounge of Fabio for a last minute win for Bayern Munich. But that is another story. Coentrão played a great match. Real Madrid came out with more motivation. They were hungrier than Barcelona. They were not going to let them take this title away from them or even allow them to come close to it.
Sami Khedira was the unlikely scorer of the first goal of Real Madrid. Puyol stood for a fraction of a second between Real Madrid’s moment of glory and Barcelona’s demise. He stood upon a split second of an illusion that was to be tarnished and ruined by the steamrolling Real Madrid side: 108th goal of the season. That was the record of all times in la Liga. Until Cristiano scored the 109th goal at the 73’ minute of the match. Only the legendary Madrid of la Quinta del Buitre in 1989/90 had came close with their 107 goals. But that record has been shattered. This Real Madrid side has scored more goals than anyone ever has in a single season of la Liga with four matches to spare. Cristiano has broken the record of goals in a single Liga season, again. It was 40 last year. This year he is marching at an incredible pace of 42 goals and we still have 4 games to play…
For people that do not follow la Liga this game might have not meant much but the 400 million spectators that were viewing this match knew exactly how much this meant. Real Madrid had finally done it. Cristiano, Mourinho, Ozil, Khedira, Xabi, Kaka, Benzema had all come on a mission to Spain: to take down one of the greatest teams of all time. And the dagger came with that lovely pass from Ozil to Cristiano whose uncontainable speed propelled him by Mascherano as he proceeded to shoot the ball around Valdes, into his net, the dagger into the hearts of the Camp Nou. The goal in the hearts of los madridistas. La Liga had been colored white. Ronaldo had wrapped it up for Madrid and gives Mourinho’s side an almost guaranteed Liga title in a race against one of the greatest teams to ever have played the game.
Extended highlights of the entire match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niyQWWenjLU&feature=youtu.be