(Football news) Barcelona defeated arch rivals Real Madrid 1-0 in a pre-season friendly even though it looked nothing like a friendly. The atmosphere in Las Vegas was electric and the crowd was extremely loud and energetic. Tensions did boil between the two teams as Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Antonio and Ronald Araujo all got into a physical tussle and there were quite a few hard challenges from both sets of players. Raphinha's wonder strike in the 27th minute was enough to give Barcelona their 3rd pre-season win. Real Madrid on the other hand had played some good football but lacked quality in front of goal as they failed to have a shot on target.
Carlo Ancelotti as expected started Eden Hazard as a false 9 with Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo on either wing. The starting midfield was of Eduardo Camavinga, Fede Valverde and Aurélien Tchouaméni. The biggest surprise was perhaps at left back where Ancelotti started Antonio Rudiger. David Alaba, who has played the majority of his career at left back was expected to start there but instead it was the right footed Rudiger. Barcelona lined up with Ronald Araujo at right back to take care of Vinicius Jr which he managed to do very well. Real Madrid clearly missed Karim Benzema which goes on to show that they desperately need a quality replacement for him. Carlo Ancelotti has said multiple times that the club will not be making any more signings which is slightly worrying for Madrid fans.
Both sets of midfield i.e the younger lot of Camavinga, Valverde, Tchouameni, Kroos, Casemiro and Modric were pretty solid. The intensity bought by both teams was very high and at no point did the match look like a friendly. Both the managers will be happy with the performances but the finishing from both the teams was not up to the mark. The only difference was that Raphinha's long shot went into the goal while Valverde's long shot rattled the post. Thibaut Courtois started the pre-season exactly like he finished last season as the Belgian shot stopper made 9 saves in the match. Real Madrid have games against Club America and Juventus before they play Frankfurt in the UEFA Super Cup. Barcelona on the other hand will play Juventus, New York Red Bulls and Pumas before starting their La Liga campaign.