Reuters Soccer Blog

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from Mark Meadows:

Real’s psychological barrier key to Barca’s 3-1 win

By Drazen Jorgic

Annoyingly for Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, the supposed plot line of  El Clasico on Saturday did not follow the script. The much-anticipated power shift from Catalunya to Madrid did not take place and his team are back to the drawing board as far as playing against Barcelona is concerned.

Mourinho blamed bad luck for the loss, as you would expect, but a lot of the press have zoomed in on Real's psychological barrier when it comes to facing Barca.

These things are always difficult to quantify but the awe-inspiring Real team that crushed everyone so far in 2011 simply crumbled when Barcelona reversed a one goal-deficit and went 2-1 up.

Even Mourinho conceded the third Barca goal was a 'psychological blow', though I would argue it was the second goal that mentally defeated them.