Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola gave his opinion on the issue of clashing 4 times against Jose Mourinho in the space of 17 days. The 40-years-old manager used to be on the winning side each time Barca met Real Madrid as a coach. But his remarkable record gradually came to an end.
First, he stumbled to a 1-1 draw in El Clasico on April 16. Pep Guardiola then tasted defeat 4 days later in the 2011 Copa del Rey final against Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid. During the upcoming days, Guardiola’s expertise against Los Blancos will again be put to the test.
It's time for UEFA Champions League football. Call this the European version of El Clasico!
On Wednesday, anything better than a defeat will suit Pep Guardiola's Barcelona. Scoring an away goal will be the sign of a prospective triumph for the Catalans but Pep won't take anything lightly. He has certainly not forgotten how Pedro's goal at the San Siro didn't mean much in the end as Mourinho's Internazionale ousted Barcelona from the semi-finals of the 2010 UEFA Champions League.
Analytically, Barcelona's chances of bouncing back against Real Madrid seem quite open. Pep Guardiola has answered his critics over and over again and the routine may indeed continue. Barcelona’s results against Real Madrid under Pep Guardiola go as follows:
December 13, 2008: Barcelona 2-0 Real Madrid
• This encounter marked Pep Guardiola’s first Clasico as a coach. Late goals from Eto’o and Lionel Messi offer the manager a vital win at the Camp Nou.
May 2, 2009: Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona
• It was branded as the match of the century for Barcelona. Pep Guardiola’s intelligent formation and unmatchable tricks humiliated the hosts at the public’s surprise.
November 29, 2009: Barcelona 1-0 Real Madrid
• Decent score line. A Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal – which was suspiciously offside – made the difference as Real Madrid, then managed by Manuel Pellegrini, felt the pressure of spending so much money on a new-look squad filled with stars.
April 10, 2010: Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
• Pep Guardiola became the first manager in the 2009/2010 La Liga season to guide his team to victory at the Santiago Bernabeu since Real Madrid were defending a remarkable unbeaten record.
November 29, 2010: Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid
• Pep Guardiola got the sweetest revenges on Jose Mourinho. The latter had beaten Pep with Internazionale in the semi-finals of the 2009/2010 UEFA Champions League, but the score line at the Camp Nou reminded football fans that Pep Guardiola still had his mesmerizing touch.
April 16, 2011: Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona
• Pep Guardiola’s perfect record against Real Madrid came to an end as a late Cristiano Ronaldo penalty cancelled out Lionel Messi’s spot kick. However, the draw was good enough for Barcelona to maintain their 8-point lead at the top of La Liga standings.
April 20, 2011: Barcelona 0-1 Real Madrid (AET)
• Barcelona met Real Madrid in the final of the 2011 Copa del Rey. Pep Guardiola experienced his first Cup final defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo’s extra-time header proved to be the difference between the two sides on the night.
Can Pep Guardiola bounce back after losing his 100% record against Real Madrid? The "El Clasico expert" has been tipped to avoid defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu come Wednesday, April 27.
Follow Real Madrid vs Barcelona LIVE on Live Soccer TV on April 27.
Could there be anything more exciting than a Barcelona-Real Madrid match-up in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League? Last season, this is where Pep Guardiola got wounded. Even the spirit of the Camp Nou couldn’t stop Jose Mourinho from achieving the treble with Internazionale.
There is another chance, this time, for Pep Guardiola. He will be looking to check all the unchecked boxes and to put in place what fell apart in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last year. The prospect of facing Real Madrid 4 times within 17 days is “the chance to compete against the most powerful team,” according to Pep Guardiola. The young manager can only relish this special opportunity as he told Barcelona’s official website:
“No matter how many times we play them, Real Madrid are still the most powerful team in every sense. They are the strongest, they are the ones in the best form, they are the ones with an unstoppable squad.
“We must accept the challenge [of playing them so many times in a short period of time] and go for it. It doesn't matter what condition we are in.
“What matters is this: mentality and desire. This is a gift that anyone in the world of sports would be delighted to have. In this situation, the only thing we can do is to thank the players and to treat what’s happening as a gift.”
As of now, Jose Mourinho may seem to have the upper hand. But which image will Pep Guardiola have after these series of matches against Los Blancos? How could the Barcelona manager affect the career of Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid? More question can follow these two, and their answers remain to be heard in the upcoming days...
You can have in-depth coverage of the two-legged tie in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Real Madrid vs Barcelona and Barcelona vs Real Madrid, at Live Soccer TV. Don't miss the best analysis on the last part of El Clasico!
Here are articles you may like: (Check out often for more Real Madrid vs Barcelona topics)
|Real Madrid||May 2|
|Celta de Vigo||May 4|
|Bayern München||May 6|