With a Ronaldo and Messi-less Clasico just hours away, let’s review three marquee European match ups, and the two teams’ best head-to-head result in recent memory…
Manchester United vs Everton
Manchester United: 10/05/14 W 2-1 @ Old Trafford (Premier League)
During the early stages of the Van Gaal era, United came into this game knowing Everton were going to be tricky customers. The Toffees gave the home side a run for their money by relentlessly attacking them all throughout the match. The game had it all, from missed penalties to end-to-end attacking, and most notably an outstanding goalkeeping display from David de Gea. His splendid saves against Leon Osman and Bryan Oviedo signaled a turning point in his United career, and sealed the 3 points for The Red Devils.
Everton: 02/20/2010 W 3-1 @ Goodison Park (Premier League)
Everton were simply too good for United in this game. A Dimitar Berbatov tap-in was as good as it got for the Mancunians, with the Merseyside club taking advantage of United’s depleted backline by scoring 3 unanswered goals to send Everton fans into delirium. The Tofees’ second half goals were scored by Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell, two youngsters whose careers headed in different directions. Gosling is a regular at Bournemouth, while a combination of injuries and subpar performances have exponentially decreased Rodwell’s stock.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid
Barcelona: 11/29/2010 W 5-0 @ Camp Nou (La Liga)
This was hands down the best Clasico in recent memory, for Barca fans at least. A menacing display saw La Blaugrana make light work of a Real Madrid side which included the likes of Ronaldo, Di Maria, and Ozil. As is the case in El Clásico, the game was full of bad blood. Sergio Ramos was sent off for a reckless tackle on Lionel Messi, resulting in altercation between both sets of players in the dying minutes of the match. Goals from Xavi, Pedro, David Villa, and the relatively unknown Jeffren sealed the deal, boosting Pep Guardiola’s credentials as one of Europe’s top managers in the process.
Real Madrid: 04/16/2014 2-1 W @ Mestalla (Copa del Rey Final)
The 2014 Copa Del Rey final is known for one thing and one thing only; Gareth Bale. The Welshman joined Real Madrid at the start of the season for a staggering €100 million fee, and his performances before injury were well worth the money. Los Blancos were simply too good for their counterparts that night. Angel Di Maria’s early first half goal set the tone as Madrid used their speed up top to relentlessly attack Barcelona’s defense. The image of Bale running past Marc Bartra on the touchline before slotting home the game winner haunts Barca fans till this day…
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Tottenham: 05/10/2010 W 0-1 @ City of Manchester Stadium (Premier League)
Manchester City hired Roberto Mancini in 2009 to match their ambitions of reaching the UEFA Champions League, and the Citizens went into this game knowing a victory would do the job. The problem was Tottenham were also in contention for the final CL spot, which meant the coveted 4th place position was up for grabs. Under those circumstances, both teams played free-flowing, attacking football. Ledley King had a goal ruled out, and Gareth Bale almost scored an own goal before Peter Crouch’s last-minute header sealed the win for Spurs; giving them Champions League football for the first time in their history.
City: 11/24/2013 W 6-0 @ City of Manchester Stadium (Premier League)
Manchester City flat out dominated Spurs on this occasion literally from start to finish. It took Jesus Navas only 12 seconds to break the deadlock after pouncing off a mistake from Hugo Lloris. The game only got worse for the North Londoners, as City struck twice more before the interval, courtesy of Sergio Aguero and an own-goal by Sandro. The Argentine–along with Alvaro Negredo–got on the score sheet in the second half, before Navas scored his 2nd and City’s 6th deep inside injury time. Tottenham stood no chance, as City secured a famous victory en route to their second Premier League title.